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Market feels the chill as slowdown speeds up

The seasonal slowdown in used car sales this year has been bigger than normal, according to Manheim.

John Simpson, managing director, Manheim Retail Services, said “Although a decline in used car sales is to be expected at this time of year, our latest data suggests there has been a more significant slowdown in November compared with a relatively buoyant October.”

He said sales dropped to their lowest figure since January, down four units to an average of 11.7 used car sales for the month, as combined showroom and online traffic figures dipped a whopping 13.2 to 32.2 enquiries in November.

The second countrywide blanket of snow this year inevitably shifts consumers away from the showroom and into the online environment.

While traditional showroom sales leads are still generally more abundant than online enquiries, poor weather favours web-based activity and this November saw the gap between the two narrow.

In the wholesale market, Mike Pilkington, managing director, Manheim Remarketing, said the seasonal downward drift in stock for retail values continued with average wholesale values at £7,566, £262 lower than October.

Prices, mileage and age are all on a par with that of November 2009.

First time conversion rates are still strong and at 80% compare favourably with the 73% of November 2009.

Average dealer part-exchange values rose for the fourth month in a row, increasing £35 to £2,289, the highest figure in the last six months.

This rise could be explained by model mix as younger vehicles came into the market across all segments and, while mileages were up very slightly, the increase was not universal across all segments.

First-time conversion rates sit at 82%, really good news for dealers looking to destock before year-end.



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