The auctions, like the proverbial rubber ball, always come bouncing back. After weeks of the oversupply of high mileage basic and distinctly uninspiring ex-fleet cars clogging up the sales, the word on the street is that buyers are getting their debit cards out and conversions are on the way back up.
It appears that after the shock of the budget and the pricing adjustments taken by the trade guides, trade buyers have cottoned on to the fact that they simply can’t sell empty spaces and in fact for most people the world didn’t suddenly end the day after the austerity measures were announced and therefore the feeling is almost a business as usual one.
That is not to say complacency has set in, far from it. We are a cynical bunch at the best of times and those of you who watched Dads Army will know that most car dealers identify with the dour Scottish pessimist Private Fraser who seemed to expect doom and disaster from any situation.
The fact is though that the market conditions are what they are and it’s up to all the relevant players to make the most of them whatever the situation. Of course this doesn’t mean that all cars are suddenly making hundreds of pounds over their reserve but more are selling and more are finding their way onto dealer forecourts for retail sale.
As many franchised dealers continue to offer customers build times of 3 months or more on many new models, this has the effect of convincing the car buyer to accept a used alternative which, as a knock on, helps build demand and re-heats values as customers chase fewer models.
As we pointed out yesterday; as the new car market has shrunk by up to 30% it will ultimately mean fewer used cars for sale as a result. But the situation may well change again as the holiday season gets into full swing and with some great deals and promotions still on offer plus the new reg plate due in September (which will be another historic number, 60) there should be plenty of optimism in the air despite the Chancellor’s best (or worst) efforts.