The market this week has certainly seen a downturn in buyer activity. Reports that the retail market has slowed down somewhat have been evident in the auction halls - general fleet sales have been tougher and manufacturers sales have probably been hit the hardest. Cap figures are dipping back to around 96 -97% from 102% and it is only the "very sought after" vehicles that are achieving above Cap clean.
I expect this present market trend will get harder over the coming six weeks or so and the "seasonal" summer holidays and September 1st new car registrations will do nothing to help the used market. Attendances at the auctions are slightly down with many of the main franchise dealer buyers absent, leaving the car supermarket buyers and small traders to "fight it out" between them. This situation is helping keep residual prices on nice stock high but the 100,000 mile plus stock is becoming increasingly difficult to sell.
With the way the market is at present, it is imperative that the auctioneers work hard to obtain bids on vehicles and then let the "provisional bid" negotiators work to convert these into sales. Having said that, there is a tendency - when the market gets harder - for trader buyers not to bid when a vehicle is offered and then try to submit "unrealistic bids" over the rostrum. It does not, however, do the vendors or provisional bidders any favours by accepting these bids.
To keep disposal figures high, we all need to give the buyers some incentive to bid and then work towards a "sensible" negotiating level in order to keep both vendor and buyer happy.