January saw the strongest-ever start to the year for Cox Automotive’s Manheim auction and defleet businesses, with a record volume of vans for the period recorded.
Manheim Auction Services (MAS) and Manheim Vehicle Services (MVS) have been chock-a-block for the opening month of the year, as they recorded a greatly encouraging 52% YoY growth of van arrivals – 10,372 vehicles in total.
The increase in new LCV supply over the past year has caused many fleet, rental and leasing businesses to speed-up the replacement of vehicles, resulting in an excess of stock filtering through to remarketing channels. In December, the SMMT recorded 29,701 new van registrations, a 36% YoY uplift, and Manheim reports that glut of new vans has now translated to something of a de-fleet frenzy at their sites.
Stock profiles in the used LCV wholesale market have seen notable changes according to Manheim. An average age of 64.5 months was recorded in January, 6.5 months lower than the same period last year and the lowest average seen at Manheim for 15 months. Despite this drop, average return mileages have remained high, with an average of 83,820 miles recorded – a notable 4% (or 3,372 miles) increase.
Matthew Davock, Director of Manheim Commercial Vehicles, Cox Automotive, said: “The LCV market got off to an intensely busy start in January. Buyers clearly had forecourts to replenish, and in our halls and online channels there was a palpable buying mood in the air. We saw a 29% increase in active buyer numbers compared to December, meaning that in January, some 3,112 LCV dealers interacted with the now daily Manheim LCV sales calendar.
“The flood of stock has put a pressure on prices from a vendor perspective, but first-time conversions, at 76%, kept pace with year-on-year comparisons, giving a clear indication of demand. It is however right to note that conversion rates did show signs of easing towards the end of the month due to a combination of surplus volume and contracting retail demand. This will no doubt impact our key metrics but it’s far from being a negative picture.”
Average selling prices in the used LCV sector remain under pressure. The January figure of £8,988 is a year-on-year reduction of -6.5%, equating to a £633 drop versus Jan ’23 levels. This drop can be attributed to the increase in return mileages, increase in return damage condition and the additional volume meaning dealers currently have a richness of choice in a market that’s comparable to pre-pandemic levels.
Matthew believes the significant market volumes seen so far will continue throughout Q1.
He said: “The big question is: will overall dealer demand and retail activity keep up with market volume supply? We believe it will. The price of used vans compared to new, continues to make them attractive to buyers, plus Q1 historically sees a positive spike in LCV sales as businesses seek to add to their assets to offset their tax burden. All in all, the months ahead and overall improved activity look very positive for the LCV industry in 2024.”
Strong start to 2024 as Cox Automotive records a huge increase in LCV arrivals
Monday, 12 February 2024