HGV Editorial June 2015
Written by: Rob Smith
Last month auctions were no doubt affected by bank holidays as activity remained somewhat quiet. Some auctions were well attended but others were substantially less busy, without any real reason. Even auctions providing desirable stock have seen attendances fall.
Fewer vehicles were presented for sale but outright sales increased. Auctions reported that conversions of provisional sales were not as strong as in previous months. The evidence of this being that some vehicles have appeared in more than one sale.
The average number of auction entries decreased 54.4% last month but on-the-day sales for trucks increased by 16.9% in relation to total entries, whilst for trailers it decreased by 2.8%. As always it should be remembered that these are ‘hammer sales’ on-the-day and any number of provisional bids may be converted post sale.
Dealers report business as being ‘steady’ at best, but traders are always reticent to say when they are busy. Most bemoan the lack of late stock and the large quantity of similar older stock. They are exercising increased caution as the market remains subdued. They are willing to buy but apart from the very cleanest examples, great care is being made when purchasing.
Just as last month, fleet vehicles, mainly tractor units, continue to appear for sale but only the best are attracting attention and selling first time.
Export trade is active but only for specific vehicles and trailers. It seems the days when exporters would clear up the vehicles unsuitable for the domestic market are over because such equipment is languishing, awaiting any reasonable offer to take it away.
Manufacturers are still seeing healthy sales values as they manage their stocks efficiently in order to maximise revenue.
Research shows that pre euro 4 7.5t boxes have shown an increase in value and this is reflected in this edition. Values of 13-18t boxes and fridges have dropped and with the exception of Mercedes-Benz all tractor unit values have been adjusted downwards to reflect current trends. Trailer values have also seen a general drop this month to reflect current market conditions.
Analysis suggests that values across most other vehicle ranges are tending to show a slight downward trend. We will monitor this, conducting further research, before making any adjustments to ensure that such trends are not a result of the recent bank holidays.
SMMT data for March 2015 shows that over 77% more trucks over 6 tonnes have been registered so far this year compared with the same period last year. The largest increases belong to tri-axle tractor units and multi-axle rigids.