Van Retailers Face Mixed Messages From The Market
- November 18, 2019
- Posted by: John Swift
- Category: Automotive Industry
Used van retailers are facing difficult trading conditions as their customers hold back from buying decisions and the market gives out mixed messages, subdued in some areas but more buoyant in others.
According to the latest report from Glass’s, wholesale auction activity in September slowed while businesses wait for the political and economic situation to become clearer but there have been some bright spots.
It says the average age of second-hand van stock of all categories was a fraction up, at almost 66 months, but average mileage was slightly down, at 72,600. The average sale price was up by around £200 from August but down by more than £250 year-on-year. Overall September sales volumes fell 9% on August and are 15% down from last September. That said, average first-time conversion rates rose 2% to almost 80%.
A Glass’s spokesman said:
“These changes highlight the volatility in the market and the general caution of the buyer.”
As usual, the bulk of sales were evenly split between the small and medium van sectors, with 34% of overall trade each. Sales of small vans dropped 11% in the month and the Berlingo, Combo, Caddy and Transit Connect took the lions’ share of them with strong performances from the Peugeot Partner, Renault Kangoo and Ford Transit Connect where average prices all rose from August.
One significant event was the almost 12% jump in price for the electric Nissan eNV200, underlining the growth in demand for battery-powered LCVs and echoing similar recent rises for EVs in the used car sector.
Volatility In The Market
Medium-sized used LCVs had a better September with the VW Transporter, Transit Custom, Trafic, Vivaro and Dispatch being the volume sellers but only Vauxhall and Volkswagen saw average price increases.
In contrast, there was markedly less demand for Large Panel vans where volume dropped by nearly 6% but sale prices went up by a similar amount. The Ford Transit and VW Sprinter made up nearly 60% of all sales in this sector, with average sale prices increasing by £450 on August, but no single range saw an average price increase.
The used 4×4 Pickup market is another hard one to read with auction buys falling for the third month running although the quality was better. Average mileage and mileage both came down with average sale prices going up to just short of £10,000.
Mitsubishi’s L200 and the Nissan Navara sales dropped by 12% but still accounted for more than half of total volume. The VW Amarok continues to sell when condition and miles are right and with the all-new model grabbing the headlines, there is a healthy demand for higher-spec Land Rover Defenders, with the best XS and special edition models continuing to sell for exceptional prices.