An increasing number of ex-lease vehicles are being repatriated back into franchise dealer networks by manufacturers as demand for used stock increases, says Epyx.
The company says that its 1link Disposal Network platform shows that fewer ex-manufacturers cars and vans are being disposed of through open sales to all retailers.
Vicky Gardner, head of remarketing at Epyx, said: “Repatriation is a long-term trend that most manufacturers have been following for several years, aiming to strengthen residual values and provide an early opportunity for franchise dealers to acquire the best stock.
“However, as the balance of activity in franchise dealerships has shifted decisively away from new to used car sales over the last year, this process has very much accelerated.
“Increasingly, cascade models for disposal offer the best stock to franchisees on more than one occasion before it is offered to other dealers.
“This works for manufacturers because they can achieve the best values and for franchise dealers because they get the best stock.
“What is interesting at the moment is the degree to which this is occurring.
“Even lower grade stock that would quite recently have been offered at open sales is now being shown to franchises first.”
Gardner said this trend shows the increased interest manufacturers are taken in the used car sector as it allows them to have significant influence on used car and van sales by controlling how and where stock is sold.
She added: “With no obvious end date in sight for a recovery in the new car sector, we expect this focus on used vehicles to continue.”