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Midlands' dealers bear the brunt of the used car market depression

Hopes are pinned on buyers returning to the used car market in the New Year as dealers reconcile themselves to a miserable end to 2000, according to the Cap Used Car Confidence Index.

Cap says confidence in the market remains low, despite the renewed activity enjoyed by new car dealers in the wake of list price cuts.

The index says: “November and December are traditionally quiet times for used car dealers, made worse this time by continuing uncertainty in the new car market, leaving used buyers playing a waiting game. “Regional variations remain pronounced with dealers in the south east and London least optimistic about their immediate prospects and Anglia region dealers most upbeat.”

Sales figures, Cap says, reveal continuing tough times in the used market with only four regions enjoying better sales in November 2000 than the same month last year.

Worst performers are Midlands dealers, almost a quarter down, followed by those in the north east, with sales 19.4% down. However, Yorkshire dealers are now storming ahead with sales performance up 14.5%.

  • Hatchbacks rule the used car market: The Cap Used Car Confidence Index reveals that hatchbacks are the most popular buy while coupes are in the doldrums. Dealers were asked to rate the sales performance of a range of body types. Hatchbacks rule with 32% of dealers rating their performance as 'excellent'. Coupes were slated by 74% of dealers as 'poor' sellers. Estates are doing well, outperforming saloon models in November. “The findings underline the importance of practicality in today's used car market,” Cap says.
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