Manheim has seen a record November for LCV units sold – after a year of the market being stock-starved, it has seen the seasonal influx of LCV volume.
Buyers are still present in numbers in the halls but are selective with purchases, tending to pre-sell rather than stock vehicles.
Thus, the market is showing its seasonal slow-down.
Damaged and high mileage vehicles are first to suffer in these conditions, with buyers gravitating towards stock of up to £4,000 in value.
This is typical of this time of year, as buyers would rather stock a range of attractively priced vans instead of tying up this cash flow in one high value vehicle.
Historically, the Christmas/new year period is difficult to predict, as we have seen in the past three years where fluctuation in supply and demand, overlaid by different vendor measures, such as days in stock, has seen varying sales performance and conversion rates.
The only way to effectively predict the future is to draw on our market experiences and keep communicating with buyers, vendors and industry bodies.
The performance of our on-line sales platform, CV Live, which was rolled out fully, to all seven CV sites by end-November 2007 has exceeded our initial expectations.
Buyer feedback has been positive and we have sold nearly £4 million worth of vans since its launch.
Car-derived vans: vans in this sector typically fall into the ‘up to £4k’ price bracket and, due to strong demand, Manheim is not seeing any drop-off in conversions – set aside the seasonal factors of damage and mileage.
However, there are exceptions to every rule and recently, a 02/02 Escort 1.9D van, with 109k miles sold for £1,400 – £200 over book.
Recently, a Ford Transit Connect T200 75PS (with side door) 04/04 SWB/low roof with 31,000 miles made book money at £4,000.
Examples without side doors (of which there are an increasing number) are making £200-300 behind book.
During November, Manheim offered a quantity of dark blue 2004 Citroen Xsara Enterprise 2.0HDIs which were initially well received by buyers but as the volumes increased, prices hardened.
What could appear to many as a small quantity, actually creates price volatility in the niche car van sector.
Small panel vans: this sector is showing an increase in volumes of standard spec bread and butter fleet vehicles – for example Ford Transit 260/280/300 – and recently sold a 280 SWB/low roof in white, 02/02, with 30,000 miles for £3,800 against a book price of £4,100.
Vauxhall Vivaros continue to be seen in numbers and it is now commonplace for buyers to be seen looking at the roof before deciding whether to bid or just choose a cleaner example.
Recent volumes of yellow Volkswagen Transporter T4’s with 5 seats are drying up with the last of the 2003 models in the marketplace.
Their obvious appeal to the ‘lifestyle’ retail buyers is clear and it is not unusual to see them on the road with colour-coded bumpers, mirrors, trims and alloys.
Large panel vans: Long wheelbase Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and VW LT are in short supply.
However, Manheim is seeing an influx of five year-old Citroen Relay LWB/high roof models, many of which happen to have higher than average mileage and levels of damage, making anything from £500-£1000 behind book.
Vendors with this stock are being realistic with reserve prices and getting them sold quickly.
Smaller powered engines in large volume vans are less popular with buyers, especially when mileage is high.