Fleet News

Used warning as sales hit a record

AS van sales records continue to be broken each month, a warning has come that too many new vehicles flooding on to the UK’s roads will do no-one any good.

George Alexander, chief editor, commercial vehicles at Glass’s, said too many new vehicles would impact on residual values of late-year models, thus affecting contract hire rates.

He said: ‘As customers react adversely to paying high rentals, this leads to cut-throat competition between the marques. Over-incentivising new sales has both an instant detrimental effect on prospects for used values and creates an imbalance in the marketplace between old and new stock.’

Alexander said much pain could be averted if a realistic view of the probable size of the future market was factored into production plans.

‘Manufacturers setting ever-higher sales targets that assume they can find growth while their competitors flounder should be avoided,’ he added. ‘A realistic approach to budgeting and maintaining a balance between supply and demand are key.’

Meanwhile, according to CAP, Ford Courier is the biggest downward mover of the month, with values falling 7%. This is due to subdued demand coupled with high levels of stock.

Ford Escort is experiencing fluctuations in fortune and should be watched carefully.

On the other hand, CAP says, low supply of Transit Connect has led to values rising a little in September. New shape Vauxhall Combo is now available in volume and demand fluctuates from day to day. This is driven by preferences for features such as side doors or rear seat conversions and matching the right vans to the right potential customers. Berlingo Partner and Renault Kangoo are enjoying sufficient demand to soak up their currently high volumes.

In the panel van sector, there is strong demand for the Scudo/Dispatch/Expert trio everywhere as this size of van continues to prove a winner.

Transit is enjoying continued demand, with the older 280 models notably quick to find buyers provided they are in good condition. Also good news are 350 Lutons and drop sides. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter values are slightly reduced, due to relatively high volume but new shape Renault Master and Trafic are in short supply, with dealers happy to pay strongly for clean examples. There is also sufficient demand for sister vans, Movano and Vivaro, moving despite higher volumes.

With pick-ups and 4x4s, strong incentives on new Ranger have diverted some demand from the used market, with values consequently reduced. The rest of this sector, however, is remaining stable.

The current Thrifty commercial fleet includes Ford Transit Connect and Transit, Mercedes-Benz Vito and Sprinter, Volkswagen Caddy, Transporter and LT, Renault Kangoo, Trafic and Master and Peugeot Partner and Expert. The increased vehicle fleet will mainly be from the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and VW LT35 ranges.

Meanwhile, TLS has teamed up with Peugeot to expand its fleet offerings.

The £8 million investment will see the TLS fleet expand with a range of Peugeot models. As well as providing customers with more choice, TLS has decided to use the Peugeot Partner Combi on its own branch fleet for its collection and delivery service.

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