His statement comes as dealers’ express frustration at the challenging new car registration, in part brought about by the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) – a laboratory test to measure fuel consumption and CO2 emissions – which has left the sector feeling uncertain at the start of this month.
“Last month 91% of dealers witnessed a reduction in the orders of new vehicles, due to the impact and uncertainty surrounding WLTP,” comments Evans. “One in ten dealers admitted to not knowing what the new laboratory testing is and were not even aware of when it came into force – highlighting the ambiguity and confusion that exists around the procedure. This seems to have really knocked fleet buyers’ confidence in particular.”
Despite prediction that the introduction of WLTP would continue to cause disruption across the industry, the used car market has proven to be resilient with a small decrease of 0.4% in sales and over two million vehicles being sold in quarter two of this year. Evans has therefore placed emphasis on how auction houses could alleviate some of the pressure on sellers and help them hit targets this month.
“The significantly low uptake on new registrations, partnered with the restricted supply of vehicles, will pose a real challenge for some dealers. But, I believe auctions are an ideal place to source fresh stock for forecourts, and really drive sales forward. The demand for used cars is clearly up and sellers need to act quickly to capitalise on this. Some franchised dealers have even resorted to putting used vehicles in their showrooms due to the lack to new ones to demo to customers.”
This advice from Evans not to overlook the potential presented by auctions may be all well and good, but it is an argument reliant on remarketers offering high-quality stock, as well as providing in-depth reports on vehicles to improve buyers’ confidence.
Evans elaborates: “With online sales now complementing physical in-lane offerings, dealers can rigorously research the national marketplace and source stock in the comfort of their own office. With the tradition of wanting to see, touch and hear a vehicle in person, it is important that digital sales step up to address this perceived obstacle.
“Cars should now all be appraised by National Association of Motor Auction (NAMA) vehicle examiners for instance – and where possible – high-quality, media-rich inspection reports should be provided. An appraisal that contains HD imagery, video and audio commentary, is far more likely to empower the dealer in their decision-making process.”
Evans’ final comment looks to 2019 and beyond: “An accurate forecast on used car values is difficult to predict due to WLTP but we’re seeing a more positive sentiment pre-Brexit clarity. With fewer part-exchanges entering the market, this could mean good news for used car values throughout the remainder of the year and beyond.”
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