Manheim Auctions – Rumours from the Rostrum report
‘As the end of the month approaches and the Christmas season looms it is good to see the auction halls still very busy. Sale sizes vary massively around the country and at present it seems that the southern half of the country is getting more stock than the north. In the past this would have meant lots of early starts for buyers as they travel to where the stock is, but with Simulcast now being used more and more this does not have to happen. At every sale I attend the Simulcast screen is constantly lighting up as buyers are chasing that right piece of stock and with excellent online images and detailed, costed appraisals they can bid with confidence.
The nice end of the market i.e. late/low, metallic, rare models are making very strong money as everyone wants the most sellable vehicles on their sites and know they won’t get many chances to buy them. But it’s the middle, 3/4 year old vehicle market that can prove challenging at the moment. Traders will look at most things but more and more attention is being paid to condition and this will affect prices massively. Buyers are happy to bid on these vehicles but vendors should expect the bid to reflect the damage. Sometimes a simple mop can bring a tired van back to life or a new set of wheel trims or a replaced mirror will help but when it comes to major body damage the trade will price accordingly.
There has been a lot of duplicate stock around over the last few months and the market has successfully absorbed it without it affecting the price. The 4×4 market has been incredibly strong as you would expect as winter approaches with predictions of more harsh weather to come.
The reports of retail activity from buyers vary. Those in the big towns and cities are seeing a fair amount of activity with those around London reporting the best of all as the London LEZ gets set to start in January. Those in the more rural areas paint a different picture. The retail side is very sporadic for them and at present they are only coming to auction to replace stock when they need to. I expect the first two weeks of December to be quite strong but things will quieten down until the second week of January when business usually picks up again.’