H2 2011 to bring less challenges for auction marketplace
So says Tim Spencer, group commercial vehicle auctioneer, Manheim Auctions, in the company’s latest “Rumours from the Rostrum” report.
Spencer said: ‘As we pass the half-way point of the year it is good to look back and reflect on what has happened over the first six months. Frankly, no one could have predicted the volume of vans that hit the market in such a short space of time. But what proved most challenging was not just the number of vans but also the amount of duplicated stock. I remember many people asking if the market can take these vehicles and for how long.
‘Indeed the market got tougher and values were affected, but not as much as expected. There were peaks and troughs as prices adjusted themselves but the van market has proved its robustness and has amazed everyone by being able to absorb this volume. Those people who predicted more long-term problems have been proved wrong. The only real time we saw a slump was around the mad bank holiday season and even then it was really only reflective of what used to happen at Easter time.
‘Looking ahead through the summer months I don’t feel there should be any real cause for concern. Obviously seasonality will affect values but as volumes reduce from the major companies, the market can absorb what is out there.
‘When asked, most traders are saying that they are seeing average amounts of business on their retail sites at present which they are happy with and would expect little else at this time of year. When buying, they are still avoiding damage whenever possible and many have changed their buying patterns and now invest in two or three mid priced vans rather than putting all their money into one late plate, large van. All-in-all, the outlook for the light commercial vehicle market looks bright. A large number of vehicles have washed through the wholesale market and the retail market is optimistic that things are on the up.’
He concluded: ‘I have spent some time talking to London area traders about the new LEZ, which comes into effect at the start of next year. They are starting to get customers coming in to reluctantly part exchange their old van and many predict the flow of customers will increase dramatically over the next few months when more and more realise that they need to change vehicles. Most of what is being part exchanged wouldn’t be out of place in a LCV museum so a considerable proportion is ending up at the local scrap dealer. It will be interesting to see how many van traders further afield are affected by these new rules for London in the coming months.’