Industry experts have claimed that the only clear trend they can identify is uncertainty. Anecdotal evidence from small independent dealers to large car supermarkets reports that the market turns weekly and geographically.
Mike Pilkington, managing director of vehicle remarketing solutions said: ‘Where demand is high one week it may not be the next. There has been a marked rise in the number of dealers buying to order. This may reflect the uncertainty dealers are experiencing. They are seeking to minimise the risk.
‘Vehicle remarketing solutions’ own sales have shown that demand has remained steady over the last quarter for the volume marques and demand has risen for more niche products. This can be attributed to dealers looking to enhance their forecourt appeal.’
However, despite the uncertainty about where the demand hotspots will be in any given week, Pilkington says the market is not stagnating, claiming his own firm will exceed its sales target from 2004 and achieve between 100% and 110% of CAP across its contracts with manufacturers and large fleet operators. He said fleets will have to adapt quickly to the fluctuations to obtain the best prices.
He said: ‘Fleet managers need to have a mix of routes to market available to ensure that stock is profiled into the best markets.’
Vehicle: Audi A6 TDI 2.5 auto
Where sold: BCA Blackbushe
% Of CAP clean: 118%
If condition is taken for granted, the most important criteria for the executive car is specification. Used buyers generally expect an increasingly higher level of specification and nowhere more than on a car with a prestige badge. This Audi was a direct entered fleet car in the right colour, at a good age (30 months) and an attractive mileage and of course powered by the very capable Audi 2.5 turbo diesel with an auto box. Add in the superb spec – leather trim, CD autochanger, climate control among others – and this was a highly desirable model, reflected in the selling price at nearly one-fifth above book.