The auctions have again been awash with buyers this week and prices are showing no sign of abating The annual cry of ‘why didn’t we buy more cars in December’ has never been more relevant than this year as vendors representatives are all laughs and backslaps on the rostrums as buyers literally catch ‘auction fever’ when trying to buy stock. The on-line facilities are also on meltdown and there are real fears that when the inevitable slowdown does happen there will be lots of expensive used cars sitting on forecourts and, as dealers struggle to bail out of their existing stock, they may not have the money to go back for more.
The converse however is that many of the purchasers have been identified as private buyers meaning for some well established independent dealers the picture looks decidedly bleak and without too much light at the end of the tunnel. There is not even a real pattern to buyers habits either, you would assume in any recession that buyers would look to trade down, in terms of cost, size and economy but it seems, according to one auctioneer we spoke to, that anything is fair game for a deal.
Some dealers have reported that despite good volumes, there has been a marked downturn in finance penetration, indicating a continued lack of confidence by certain lenders to create funds for some customers and tight lending criteria’s being all too prevalent.
All in all it doesn’t matter who you speak to and what part of the trade they operate in no-one really knows exactly why some dealers are at their busiest and some are chasing the tumble weed around their showrooms. They don’t really know how to predict the future but a good deal of traders think this will be as good as it gets this year.
Who knows what to expect?, All we do know is that as far as buyers are concerned they can be safe in the knowledge that they will never be too far away from a special offer or sales promotion and that their doormats will be piling up with mail shots from dealers vigorously shaking their databases!