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Vehicle auction performance ‘driven’ by pent-up demand

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Strong performances through online wholesale auctions since lockdown have been helped by pent-up demand, according to the latest used car market tracker released by Cox Automotive UK.

Manheim Auction Services, part of Cox Automotive UK, has been running an online-only auction programme since June 1 across its 15 sites, with many of its sales attracting more than 300 buyers online.

According to Manheim, the company has seen several increases year-on-year (YoY) reflecting both the strength and demand of market. They included, first-time conversions continuing to increase at 84.80% (as of July 26), with the auction house seeing a 6.7% Year-on-Year (YoY) increase against the same period in 2019.

CAP Clean performance has also exceeded 2019 figures, increasing by 3.9% YOY from 93.02% in 2019 to 96.94% in 2020 for the same period, and average prices have risen from £6,062 in 2019 to £6,426 in 2020 – a rise of 6%

Philip Nothard, customer insight and strategy director for Cox Automotive UK, said: “Post-lockdown across the UK, we’ve seen strong demand for all sectors.

“Standout performance has been seen in older part exchange vehicles with sensible miles and a lengthy MOT, with some making close to double the guide price.

“Online buying has undoubtedly made it easier for dealers to bid against their ‘mates’ whereas in the past it could be said that they operated a ‘one for me and one for you’ scenario.

“Current strong, pent-up demand is demonstrated by the volumes of buyers online, with many sales seeing over 300 active buyers at any one time. In fact, for many of our evening sales, we are now seeing over 200 live bidders which is incredible.”

Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions Used Vehicle Sale

Manheim Auction Services’ recent exclusive event for Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions (HCVS) has been declared a success – resulting in sales of over £1.5 million. 

More than 450 buyers participated in the event – the first time it has been held online as in previous years Manheim would host a physical event at HCVS HQ in Trowbridge.

Including a range of executive, high performance and prestige cars, the exclusive sale also featured more than 50 HGVs, achieving a 26% increase in combined sales value from 2019 with a 100% conversion rate for cars and 93% for LCVs.

Roger Holder, remarketing manager at HCVS, said: “We really enjoy hosting the annual event in Trowbridge but had to adapt to online this year due to the pandemic. We were extremely pleased with the sale’s performance and to see so many of our prestige cars and HGV stock selling. 

“Online auctions are currently the ‘new normal’ for the industry. This first event was a really positive indicator that the used vehicle market can operate just as successfully online.”

The sale follows Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions recently renewing their contract with Manheim for another three years, extending their 20-year relationship up until the end of 2022.

Over the next three years, HCVS will be pushing over 21,000 units through Manheim Manchester, Bristol, Leeds and Bruntingthorpe auction centres; including LCVs at Manheim Haydock, Gloucester and Shepshed; and HGVs at Manheim Bruntingthorpe.

Manheim is now supporting HCVS in other areas too including inspection services, vehicle services and driver sale, as their relationship goes from strength to strength.

Jon Lawes, managing director at HCVS, added: “Manheim offers us an effective solution to remarketing stock and in a way which matches our needs.

“In addition, the company continually suggests new ways in which they can support our business and deliver value. It’s great to work with an organisation that shares our values and we’re looking forward to another three years of partnership working.”

James Leese, chief customer officer at Cox Automotive, concluded: “The recent exclusive online sale is just one example of how we are supporting customers in a different way. We also have a new support package for customers, including waiving Simulcast fees until further notice, and free Quicklist Imagery to make it easier to buy online.”

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