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Retail interest drops but dealers focus on the basics

Retail interest in used cars fell back slightly versus August, with small reductions in the number of prospects, test drives and sales, according to John Simpson, Manheim Retail Services managing director.

Looking at the ratio between enquiries and sales, the only vehicle segment that saw a rise in sales conversion was large family vehicles, up just 1%. Overall, used car sales were only down by an average of one unit per outlet which seems to reflect the focus on doing the basics effectively – ensuring that retail stock is marketed using both online and printed materials and, once in the showroom, prospect data is captured, stored and followed up.

Mike Pilkington, managing director, Manheim Auctions and Remarketing, points to greater activity in the wholesale market as dealers have competed for lower available volumes.

‘Stock for retail’ prices have held up well, down just £41 on the previous month with first-time auction conversion rates actually bouncing back, to 66% from 63% in August – the first improvement in eight months.

The data captured is for the five main vehicle segments only and does not report on all retail used car activity undertaken by those dealers. Source Manheim Dealer Dashboard Accordingly, this analysis simply represents a “barometer” of current retail conditions.

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