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CAP trade watch: High power for the people

The light commercials market has seen some of the most spectacular growth in the automotive sector in recent years.

Much of this has been fuelled by manufacturers, with heavy incentives on new registrations.

But social and economic change has also played a part. For example, the rise in internet shopping has created a demand for many more parcel and food delivery vehicles.

All of this has posed serious questions for those concerned with the residual values of vans around the question of oversupply. Detailed research has been ongoing to monitor this, including close tracking of the used van retail market which, after all, is what ultimately decides the level of secondhand prices.

Last year saw a highly successful period for retail used van sales with the majority of dealers enjoying greater success than in 2004. But how has this year been performing so far? The news is good, with a clear majority of dealers achieving retail sales growth. The immediate future prospects for the used light commercials market look good too, based on the sentiment of specialist dealers.

CAP is forecasting a clear divide between the future value prospects of higher-powered heavy panel vans and those with lower outputs.

The most recent survey for Red Book on the issue of engine outputs confirms this; 56% of dealers said they had detected a swing among retail customers toward higher power vans, while a third said otherwise. Just 13% were unsure.

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