A mixed market in October

Retail and stock funding sees growth in October

New data from Cox Automotive revealed a mixed market in October as its retail and stock funding sectors continued to grow, and wholesale divisions showed signs of slowing down.

Motors.co.uk saw a 5% average increase in stock volume year-on-year, while average sold prices were also up, growing 2.3% from September to £14,127 (an increase of 12.8% year-on-year).

Philip Nothard with Michael Buxton, CEO of Cox Automotive UK

Head of External Relations at Cox Automotive, Philip Nothard, said: "The positive growth for Motors.co.uk suggests that dealers are preparing for the winter quarter by increasing stock on their forecourts, and also points to part-exchanged stock from the September plate change trickling through to retail."

NextGear Capital, the wholesale stock funding business, recorded growth once again, as the average cost per unit hit its highest in 2017, at just over £7,000. The average holding days remained steady and in line with year-to-date performance.

Volumes through Manheim's physical and online car auctions held steady with a 0.5% increase month-on-month, and despite an 11% month-on-month decrease in ex-fleet volumes, part-exchange volumes grew by 9.2%.

The overall average sold price fell by 10.5% (from £7,271 to £6,498). Data also shows that average vehicle mileage was up 8% to 59,209, since September. In the trade-to-trade market, Dealer Auction, saw average vehicle values decrease, down 4.8% on September to £4,474.

The data confirms that there were patches of healthy consumer demand throughout October
- Philip Nothard, Head of External Relations

"but we have not seen the increase in unit activity that the wholesale market expected and the majority of dealers had hoped for."

"From a retail perspective, although our data shows that dealers have strong stock levels, there is a trend towards less attractive stock becoming more difficult to sell. Smart dealers will be looking at what they can do to ease prices to counter this.

"Looking ahead to November, early indications point to a slight increase in vehicles hitting the auctions and we expect this to be bolstered by pre-Christmas seasonal consumer demand later in the month.

"By the end of the year, we expect volumes and prices to regain the levels seen earlier this year, as dealers stock up for a potentially busy first quarter of 2018."