Fleet News

2003 – a golden year for auction business

2003 was a golden year for the auction business with the balance between stock and demand almost perfect across all vehicle sectors.

According to BCA's director, customer affairs, Tom Madden: '2003 will go down as one of the strongest and most competitive years in the auction halls in recent history.

'As an example of an almost 'perfect market', demand was finely balanced during the year. There was just a slight shortage of retail quality stock and enough competition to keep prices firm.

'Consequently conversion rate or the 'churn'– another key criteria our vendors judge us on alongside residual value – was exceptional all year. The big corporate sellers saw conversions averaging well over 80% for most of the year.

'In the late spring – probably close to the peak of the market in 2003 – if sales were missing the 90% mark you almost felt disappointed.

'This is extraordinary demand under any circumstances.'

Madden reported that the supermini and compact MPV sectors were strong all year, while prestige and executive vehicles looked 'spectacular' value for money.

He also claimed that mid-range saloons and hatchbacks, particularly with high specification and entered from a good fleet, lease or contract hire source, were in demand.

Diesel cars have remained strong, despite some commentators claiming the sector would see a drop, and Madden sees no reason why the situation should change.

He said: 'Our expectation is that diesel will continue to appeal to motorists just as much as it does in the fleet sector – after all, everyone wants reliability and low-running costs.'

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