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4×4 values lower than normal as winter uplift fails to materialise, says CAP

According to Gold Book, 4x4s came out of the winter in a lower-than-expected residual value position – then reverted to a normal seasonal pattern of reductions in recent weeks.

The result was a lower-than-expected position for SUV values during April, caused by normal seasonal 4×4 value attrition starting from a lower base than usual.

Gold Book senior editor, Dylan Setterfield, said: ‘When values started to fall this year after Easter it sparked speculation that the SUV market was a bubble which was starting to burst, when in fact the reductions observed during April were in line with expectations.

‘However, during the course of our routine sector analysis, measuring actual used value performance relative to seasonal expectations since our review in November, we saw a significant departure. In the SUV sector, values were on average 4.5% lower than we would have expected from typical seasonality movements.

‘We had already forecast in November for a slightly weaker seasonal upturn, so the outcome is that values are on average only 2.5% behind our forecast.

‘The weakness in SUV values was not a sudden fall and was traced back to a lack of strength earlier in 2014. 

‘The overall message the market should take on recent 4×4 residual value changes is therefore that they are now returning to something much closer to the normal seasonal pattern following an unusual winter period.’

Setterfield also cautioned that while the SUV sector as a whole is expected to conform to seasonal expectations this year, individual models which have seen large volume increases will see a much harder landing.

He added that SUVs were not losing popularity but emphasised that for certain models used values over the past year had generally been shored up by limited supply.

He said: ‘We expect supply, in some cases, to increase considerably over the next forecast period as previously strong leasing registrations return to the used market. As a result, used values for certain sub-sectors are set to decrease considerably over the next few years as the patterns of supply and demand start to change although for the majority of models the future remains fairly positive.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.