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Smaller vehicles in demand

Andy Coulthurst, managing director for Manheim’s classified site said that as with previous months, it is seeing more people looking at the smaller, more compact vehicle rather than the larger gas guzzler.

The MPV market, as many would expect, has fallen away.

But 4x4s were most affected, as the average selling price fell by £779 from March 2013, while the executive car sector was down by £414.

However, although the average selling price for both the large family and medium family sectors also decreased, they only fell by £87 and £51 respectively.

This trend clearly reflects the current economic situation, which is fuelling the trend towards more affordable vehicles.

Coulthurst recently heard a report that dealers do not take online enquiries and leads as seriously as walk-in enquiries, and said this is reinforced by continuous research by that shows many calls and web enquiries go ignored.

He added: “The reality is that buyer habits are changing; they are embracing the web more and more.

If you are not geared up to deal with enquiries from a variety of sources, then you are likely to be missing out.”

There appears to be mixed messages in the wholesale market at the moment.

Dealer part-exchange values dropped 2%, while nearly new rose marginally by 0.3%.

However, the most important thing to note is the fact that market conditions have swung in favour of the buyer, said Daren Wiseman, general manager, Manheim Seller Advance.

Some reports suggest that around 15% more vehicles entered the wholesale market in April 2013 compared to the same month in 2012.

This is also a 10% increase on March 2013 figures.

“Having said that, there is still a shortage of retail ready stock and therefore these gems are attracting a premium price.

So, if you have stock to sell, the message is that what you invest in reconditioning and preparation is likely to pay dividends in return when the hammer goes down,” he added.

“Dealers that are gaining top value for part-exchange stock are those that have invested time to establish slick and efficient supply chains that move prepared stock to auction as soon as possible.

“Improving the quality of stock to get it up to auction standard is another KPI that successful dealers are adopting, as well as their acceptance of online bidding as a serious route to market.

Our statistics show that online sales have increased month on month by 20% cent this year, and this is a channel that successful dealers are using.”

Looking forward, Wiseman expects that prices will remain flat throughout the summer months as volumes remain high.

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