Many of the auctions are now operating online only sales for the time being and for the most part they seem to be working well so far. Generally speaking, prices are not too removed from where they were pre-lockdown back in March so no nasty surprises at the moment.
We are really waiting for a more normal supply situation, when auctions are expected to get very busy with returned stock. At that point we may see a hardening of values with some slow demand being reported from the forecourts. Of course all of this on top of heading into the summer vacation period which is traditionally much slower anyway. It could be that we do not see normal trading now until September but we are at the markets daily, if only virtually at the moment so we can bring you the news as it happens.
Collections and vehicle movements can now be handled anywhere in the UK, with all auction sites re-commencing this service. However there is a word of caution in that lead times will be extended because many movement companies remain closed or are on limited working. Of particular concern are the plated drivers which tend to move the majority of stock around as many of them remain furloughed. Those that are back at work have to get to their jobs in isolation, rather than be ferried by minibus as they used to be. It is for all of these reasons that collections will take longer than usual as least in the short term.
Auction attendance remains virtual, as we now manage each sale online with the respective auction sites. Indeed the larger companies such as Manheim tend to have national online sales, using stock selected from around the country rather than sat at just one centre. But we are coping with this new method well and it very often involves some significant after sale negotiation with the buyers, who all try to ‘nick the stock’ as cheaply as possible. Management of sales stock has never been so important!
The truck, plant and equipment world is also slowly awakening with most sales operating normally, albeit online from next week. Even the export job is slowly returning as shipping slots become available again. The weakness of Sterling will also help this sector although the larger overseas buyers are somewhat noticeable by their absence currently. We are monitoring the situation and managing what bids come forth, so that wherever stock can be sold it is. Unlike the LCV and car markets there is not a lot of fresh plant stock about so, we’d hope prices may bounce back a little from next month onwards.
Covid Auction Online Only – No Buyers Present!