Monthly News Digest – January/February 2016

Used Market Place Trade Talk

Christmas Market Closure

Christmas Market ClosureAs is usual, all auction sites closed their doors a few days before Christmas and did not re-open until January 4th. This of course creates demand for the first sales of the New Year but, this year the markets took off almost instantly in the first week.

Usually, it is the 2nd or 3rd week of January before buyers are back out and about but, it seems this year that retail demand over the holiday period was good, necessitating the traders to get back to market early on to re-stock.

Our first sales over the first 2 weeks of the month have been very successful, with bids on most products.

Retail Demand Good

Retail DemandThis surge in retail demand continued into January which, all things being equal suggest that the first quarter will be busy. There is a good amount of stock forecasted to return in this period from Leasing Companies and General Fleet, but with equally good demand prices should hold firm and even improve.

All of that said, as we head into the 3rd week of January the markets have slowed down again, with sales tending to be a bit sluggish. This is a temporary blip, where dealers have re-stocked their forecourts for the time being. They will return by the month end to carry on buying.

BCA Takeover of SMA

As the first few weeks of January progresses, we have been told by our Account Manager at SMA that, despite the confirmed takeover of the group by the parent company of BCA, it will be ‘business as usual’ for a while yet.


But as a business we are extremely risk averse, so until things settle down we will only use SMA’s Leeds site, seen above just before Christmas.

Manheim Sites

ManheimTo fill the void left by SMA, we are increasing our presence at Manheim sites, with an inaugural sale at Gloucester later in January. This will give us coverage for the Midlands south, although we are very aware not to upset the excellent sales we have built up at our south coast partners, in South Western and Shoreham Auctions.

In the meantime we continue to utilise Manheim’s Haydock site in the north east (seen right) at a sale during the month.

South Western Vehicle Auctions

We continue to utilise this excellent little site in Poole, Dorset, for our LCV stock.

South Western Vehicle Auctions

Whilst this site cannot boast acres of land (just over 2 acres in total) or big office style facilities, it really does work as a good traders auction. Darren Loveys and Chris Holmes, joint Partners in the business, have built an excellent reputation amongst both the trade and vendors alike over the years, with their results constantly in our top 3 performers and, often at the top.

Voting at SWVAAnd they do now have a meeting room, which is available for Business Reviews.

One of the reasons the sale works so well is timing. Aware that they have to attract big buyers as well as local trade, Darren and Chris have for many years run their LCV sale starting at 16.00 in the afternoon.

Inside SWVAThis formula has worked, attracting London and West Country buyers, who have been elsewhere during the day, as well as local trade who can spare the last hour of the day to go and buy stock. Equally the sale time attracts end users, with self-employed buyers looking for one or two vans.

And over the last few years, Chris has built another great reputation for Classic Car Sales, holding one every quarter.

Classic Car auction last year at SWVA

Austin HealeyThis was first seen as a bit of a distraction by the Darren and the other staff but, it has now become SO successful that they now regularly attract sellers and buyers from overseas, Australia and the US being amongst the most popular sellers and buyers! The hall is always packed full on a sale day and, in the July sale last year, they made a record, by selling the Austin Healey (seen right) for an amazing £156,000!! The previous record for this car type was set by Bonhams, at £102,000, so little old South Western can take the big boys on, and win!!!

New Electric Vehicles Announced

2016 will see the launch of Tesla’s new SUV, the Model X. The car has been previewed for most of 2015, but the design continues Tesla’s theme of producing desirable and practical cars, with a suggested range of 300 miles on a single charge.

New Tesla Electric SUV

If the gull winged rear doors make it to production, it will be interesting to see how the buying public react to them!

Tesla SUV winged rear doorsOverall, the electric vehicle take up rate is showing quite massive signs of growth; in the period January to September 2015, sales of electric and plug in hybrids reached nearly 21,000 units, a rise of 139% over the same period in 2014.

Given the Government desire to see more ULEV’s registered and the, ever increasing attractive finance packages, this rate of growth if sustained would give this sector a 20% share of the overall market, within 4 years!

All the more concerning then, that the used markets are yet to accept this technology in any volume.