Steady market heading into 2018

Cox Automotive reveals steady and stable November

Data released today by Cox Automotive signals a stable market heading into 2018, with the company's retail and wholesale businesses holding steady over the final quarter of the year.

Cox Automotive's wholesale division had a positive end to the year, revealing year-on-year results that put its overall performance on par with 2016.

Cars waiting for auciton

In November, its trade-to-trade online auction platform Dealer Auction reported a substantial 7.4% year-on-year increase in the number of vehicles sold.

Volumes through its physical and online Manheim auctions saw a month-on-month decrease in November compared to October, which is broadly in line with expected seasonal shifts. Year-to-date figures for Manheim show a stable market that is within 0.55% of 2016 (Jan-Nov 2016 vs. Jan-Nov 2017).

In terms of retail trend, the organisation's car sales website, motors.co.uk saw average sold prices remaining within 0.5% of October figures, and 12.4% up on November 2016, at £14,274.

Philip Nothard, head of external relations at Cox Automotive said: "The SMMT recently revealed that new car sales were down 11.2% in November. This contrasts sharply with the story in the used car sector, where data demonstrates that the market is a continued area of focus for dealers, with great stability year-on-year.

Our data shows that in auctions, the car supermarkets are continuing to buy and this is driving the market forward
- Philip Nothard, Head of External Relations

Nothard continues: "Franchise dealers appear to be a little more cautious, which perhaps reflects their focus on a slowing new car market.

"Looking ahead, we anticipate that this will level out in 2018, with used cars continuing to be an area of focus for all dealers, as we move through the early quarters of next year."

"It's also interesting to note that despite a significant downward trend in the new car market for diesel, this has yet to fully filter in to the wholesale used car sector. Diesel volumes through Manheim are up 1.33% year-to-date, and on course to achieve expectations set at the start of the year, which suggests there is a continuing appetite for diesels among dealers in the wholesale auction market.

"However, on the consumer side, it looks as though behaviour is starting to change," said Nothard. "Data from motors.co.uk shows that views for diesel vehicles are down year-on-year, (-2%), despite there being an increase in their share of total stock (+3%)."

The Cox Automotive figures also revealed that the average sold price through Manheim held steady at £6,431 (-0.7%), a 6.3% uplift when compared to the same period last year. The average mileage of vehicles sold also stood steady at 58,779 (-0.7% on October).

NextGear Capital, the wholesale stock funding business, recorded an 18.2% increase in live dealers using the business since the beginning of the year, despite a slight 5.8% dip in units funded throughout November. In addition, average holding days remained steady and in line with year-to-date performance.

Nothard added: "As 2017 draws to a close, it's clear that forward thinking dealers will be focusing on what the market data is telling them, and planning their stock profiles accordingly."