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CAP Trade Watch


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Inevitably the headlines are currently dominated by the fortunes, or otherwise, of used cars in the difficult market.

But light commercials are also feeling the pinch.

It seems to be a feature of the van trade that optimism is the norm and the most recent research indicates that dealers expect light at the end of the tunnel in the near future.

This does not necessarily mean a market upturn, but an easing of the downward pressure witnessed of late.

Comparing their retail sales in June with the previous month, 62% said their performance was down, while a further 21% reported little or no change. However, 17% said they had managed to increase their retail sales in the month.

The better overall news comes with dealer expectations. Looking at the coming weeks only 34% expected their sales to reduce further, while 41% were anticipating little or no change.

An optimistic 24% believe they will begin to see sales increasing.

But worries remain that the economic mood will hold the market back, with 76% fearing used van sales will be down this year.

In the car market troubles continue to deepen.

It seems that each month is proving more challenging than the last.

Currently an overwhelming majority of dealers report that June was more difficult than May, although there does remain a small diehard core who tell us they enjoyed a more successful month.

There is also some evidence emerging that a proportion of dealers are stocking fewer cars than normal.

One of the main issues in the marketplace at present is the cost of fuel. With so much media attention on the subject, many dealers believe it is leading directly to fewer used car retail sales.

Another factor in this summer’s market seems to be a drift by some car buyers toward purchasing in lower price ranges and research is ongoing in order to find clear evidence for this.


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