While there has been a significant rise in the number of used vehicles coming into the country’s auction houses, there has been no increase in the number of used cars and light commercials being sold.
Figures just released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that first quarter 2008 sales of used cars and LCVs actually fell marginally compared to the same period 2007.
Sales of used cars fell by 1.1%, while sales of used LCVs fell by 0.5%.
The answer to bucking the trend may lie in specialised direct marketing, said Manheim.
It revealed that despite the downturn in overall sales, its direct trade sales operation, vrs, reported an increase in sales during the first four months of 2008 of 8.25% compared with the same period in 2007.
Overall, Manheim enjoyed a record sales month in April.
However, underlying this was the fact that it also had a record number of cars entered.
In addition, the prices these vehicles attained may have been below that expected by the sellers.
Rob Barr, Manheim Group marketing director, admitted that this is proving out to be an “exceptional year”.
“We are seeing the market pulling back earlier in the year,” he said.
“In June and July we expect to see the market adjusting, but we are seeing those adjustments early.”
Lewis Arthur, managing director of Manheim’s vrs service, added: “There is no doubt 2008 will continue to be a tough year however we believe the wholesale market can sustain further targeted growth.”
Commenting on overall used car sales, Manheim confirmed that sales were much closer to SMMT figures and rose by just 1% in the first quarter.