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CAP trade watch: Van market set to grow

Used van retail business has been coming to the fore of late fuelled by growth in new van sales.

For dealers, used van retail business presents significant growth opportunities and many are now seeing that potential.

Each month CAP researches the light commercial vehicles market for the Red Book used values guide. Independent dealers are targeted to avoid findings being distorted by bonus incentives or other initiatives which manufacturers tend to offer to their franchised dealers.

A gloomy response greeted the question ‘How has 2005 compared with 2004 in terms of retail used van sales?’. Despite the regular monthly survey consistently suggesting month on month growth, dealers’ perceptions are of a weaker market in 2005 compared with 2004.

Only 11% believe the market has been stronger this year, while 35% perceive no significant change. The majority (54%) believe the retail used van market is weaker this year.

This does not, however, feed through into expectations for 2006. When asked whether they expect the retail used van market to be stronger, weaker or unchanged there is a marked degree of optimism.

Just 18% expect 2006 to bring fewer retail sales while the rest are evenly split in expecting growth or stability. Dealers who take used vans seriously will be in a strong position to capitalise on a market which has often played second fiddle to selling cars.

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