Fleet News

Transit Connect heads big surge

By Alex Wright, group commercial manager, Manheim Auctions

'THE new Ford Transit Connect made its debut on to the open auction market at Manheim Auctions Colchester in March. Vendors were not disappointed, with the 200 short wheelbase LX TDdi 74bhp vehicle achieving prices as high as £8,400 (plus VAT).

The market has been eagerly awaiting the debut of the Ford Transit Connect into the auction halls. I personally received several calls from customers including Bank of Scotland and Lex Vehicle Leasing, who were eagerly awaiting the vans' debut on to the open market to find out its true secondhand value.

Taking a general look at the market's performance during March, it has proven to be almost the mirror image of February. The market continues with this consistent feel across all ages, makes and models. Prices have remained high, despite aggressive dealer discounts. It is only late and low vehicles struggling to sell, with buyers hesitant to invest as much as £8,000 in a vehicle that needs work. All in all, quarter one promises to be extremely successful.

Buyers cannot get enough of two to four-year-old vehicles under 70,000 miles no matter what make or model, and vehicles in the most demand during March were car-derived vans. The demand reached incredibly high proportions during March, resulting in a Royal Mail sale achieving prices in excess of £3,000 (plus VAT) for a three-year-old, 50,000-mile Escort van.

Smaller panel vans are achieving particularly high prices with buyers shying away from larger panel vans needing work. Lutons have also been generating increased interest in the auction halls, primarily due to the decrease in sales of new vehicles.

Responding to buyer demand, Manheim Auctions Coventry has moved its light commercial vehicle sale to a Friday – making it the only Friday LCV sale in the south of England. 250 vehicles were entered into the first Friday sale in March, achieving an average conversion rate of 75%. Vendors included GE Capital, Ford Business Partner, Renault UK, National Car and Artegy.

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