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Manheim and BCA disagree on figures

Manheim has asked rival BCA to clarify its analysis of the nearly-new car market.

Manheim says BCA has painted a distorted picture of the segment in its latest quarterly report.

BCA Pulse highlighted a 10% upturn in average nearly-new car values in 2005, partly due to changes in the model mix at its sales and strong demand from buyers.

However, Manheim’s own research, which factors out model mix changes, detected a fall in values of 4.3% in the same segment. This is supported by Glass’s Guide, which also reported a drop of almost 5% in values of one-year-old cars.

Rob Barr of Manheim says he has had “numerous calls” from customers confused about BCA’s findings. “An implied claim that a market sector is in buoyant shape when it is under intense pressure is puzzling. Prices achieved at leading auction houses vary only marginally and we all feed results into the used car price publishers, so there should not be any significant discrepancies,” says Barr.

Barr says Manheim is not picking a fight with BCA, and agrees with BCA’s findings in other market segments, but believes its rival should make it clear that the nearly-new segment figures reflect values at its sales, and not across the market as a whole. “If BCA were to factor model-mix changes out of its analysis, the year-on-year position would look different.”

BCA says its figures are based on the most robust sample sizes and it is confident they provide a reliable snapshot of the market at any given time. “The rising prices reported in the nearly-new sector by BCA were spectacular, but were tempered by the caveat that it reflected a changing model mix at BCA. Notably, the SMMT also reported a strong nearly-new market late last year,” says the company.

“Manheim has reported downward pressure on prices, which we have not seen.  How they wish to explain that is up to them, but at BCA we believe strong markets are delivered by a combination of good quality stock, demand and buying power.”

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