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SMA cautiously optimistic on year ahead for used car market

Announced as the SMMT reveals a strong start to the year for new car sales, with figures up 6.7%, SMA Vehicle Remarketing has posted a record month across the Group.

‘All of our Centres across the UK delivered record sales in January. It was a performance that was also shared by our rapidly expanding digital remarketing operation,’ noted SMA managing director Bob Anderson.

SMA’s buyer feedback indicates that dealers are looking to increase stock levels, which is something SMA’s stock funding facilities are helping to support. Buying trends indicate a desire for fast turnaround stock, pre-prepared and ready to retail. Interest in the small and medium size segments is particularly strong with even premium and luxury vehicles are seeing more interest. Falling pump prices and increasing levels of consumer disposable income are felt to be behind this growth.

‘Attending many of our auctions during January and speaking first hand to dealers it is clear that there is heightened activity and a more positive feeling. However, the market remains very tight and as such buyers are being circumspect; they want stock they can retail quickly, with minimal preparation cost. Having shared this insight with our vendors, many are investing in pre-sale preparation.

‘We are also working to make it easier for buyers to make a buying decision by developing new products such as our Buy-Back Guarantee.’

Looking ahead, SMA’s outlook is cautiously optimistic with new car sales having enjoyed 35 months of growth with many of those vehicles now entering the remarketing cycle as they come to the end of their PCP and lease finance agreements.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.