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Mini-MPV sector hardest hit as buyer interest wanes

Consumer interest waned in October as expected, according to Manheim’s Dealer Dashboard.

Sales dropped to an average of 12.7 units per month, a decline of 3.1 units from September and a reflection in the downturn in consumer interest following the healthy activity after the plate change month.

The sales figures are on a par with October last year, if a little lower.

All segments saw a reduction in sales, but most actually held up well. The one exception was the mini MPV segment, which saw sales halved, but from a lower base.

“It is hard to see consumer interest doing anything other than slowing as we creep ever closer to Christmas where, over the last two years, we have seen an average of 10.8 units sold in November and 6.7 units sold in December,” said John Simpson, managing director of Manheim Retail Services.

In the wholesale market, Mike Pilkington, managing director of Manheim Remarketing, said there was a drop of £247 to £7,810 in the stock for retail market, which underlined that October had been stable for dealers.

The one exception was the compact executive segment, which experienced a drop in values despite some younger stock becoming available.

Average first time conversion rates remained healthy, which is very respectable for this time of year and highlights the fact that there is demand for used cars.

There was a similar picture with part-exchange values.

The September plate change brought in some younger, lower mileage vehicles and so average values rose by £39 to £2,440. Average first time conversion rates also remained stable, improving 1% to 80%.

“With fewer part-exchange vehicles in the month because of somewhat disappointing September registrations, supply and demand are in balance and we expect this trend to continue,” Pilkington said.

“While we should not see any significant fluctuations in the coming months, the continued lack of positive economic news means dealers should prepare for a difficult winter in more ways than one.”

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