AM Online

Inconsistent prices 'dumbfound' the experts

"The market continues to be a bit of a struggle. Stock that would normally sell quite easily is not finding the bidders and buyers as regularly. Reports from the franchise/supermarket/trade buyers reveal that the retail business is generally 'non-descript' and they have plenty of stock at present to fulfil their needs.

I imagine that the majority of stock bought early in September is still on the forecourts and pitches. Therefore, the need to re-stock is unnecessary but rather they are buying to fill 'gaps'. There are, however, pockets of retailers that are still moving stock steadily and they are the few that are still buying in volume. But other than this, we are back to the cherry picking scenario.

This present market is 'dumbfounding' the best of us, as prices really are inconsistent. Some cars are achieving Cap Clean whilst similar cars with similar mileage are below Cap average, for no real apparent reason.

The bright stars in the market are still the unusual, high spec, nice colour, low mileage cars and in many cases with these cars, you can throw the guides away.

On the other hand the 100,000-plus miles stock is virtually unwanted at any price. Many trade pundits are predicting that if the market does not show signs of improvement in the next 3 to 4 weeks, then it may be January 2002 before the used market comes good again. I am not sure.

The used and nearly new market is so unpredictable at the moment it is difficult to forecast beyond tomorrow."

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