Typically, the new year has started in bullish mood, with our first major LCV sales of the year at Blackbushe, Measham, Glasgow and Belle Vue, Manchester attracting large crowds of buyers and competitive bidding.
Conversions and prices remain good and we have seen strong results across the board.
Well-presented stock continues to attract the buyers and demand remained constant for good quality vans either side of the Christmas break.
While there are reports from some quarters that retail dealers are lowering expectations for early 2008, there are no real signs as yet in the wholesale market as professional buyers are competing strongly for well-presented, retail quality stock.
This suggests there is still confidence being shown by the retail customer visiting used dealerships, despite the somewhat uncertain economic conditions.
Corporate sales sections have continued to enjoy high conversions and BCA’s LCV LiveOnline sales are now well-established at Blackbushe, keeping buying power at an optimum level.
BCA’s online buyers appreciate that they are presented with a high level of catalogue and inspection detail so they can be confident when bidding.
BCA is also poised to announce further expansion of its commercial vehicle sales capacity.
This good start for 2008 follows on from a relatively strong close to last year.
The market enjoyed an extremely busy autumn in terms of demand, attendance, conversion and price.
And while there were occasional signs of slowdown as the year drew to an end, and times when buyers were cherry-picking the best vehicles, overall demand held up well.
We have seen some price pressures as volumes available for remarketing have grown, but taken in context December was a good month and very typical of what was an exceptionally strong year.
However, the market is not as strong as it was 12 months ago and vendors should be aware of that. Poor condition remains a turn-off for buyers, and condition itself remains more important than age.
The oversupply of poorly presented MWB/LWB panel vans continues and while buyers are prepared to be open-minded, they don’t want to buy work for the bodyshop – unless the price is so attractive that the opportunity cannot be ignored.
Consequently, commercials that are presented in retail-ready condition are hugely desirable.
Really any clean, straight van combining low mileage with a good specification can command extraordinary money in the current climate.
Similarly, anything rare or unusual will attract the buyers in their droves.
Even vans with high mileages can make exceptional values if the condition is exemplary.
With a shortage of good quality stock at any age, many professional buyers are buying high mileage, well-presented vans in lieu of anything else.
Business is certainly back with a bang following the festive season and the early signs for 2008 look promising.