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Manheim enjoys CV success

  • 15 May 2007
  • By Kevin Swallow

With hospitality moved to a quieter setting, the Manheim Auctions stand at the CV Show could focus on a new wear-and-tear guide for trucks and the firm’s current success.

Manheim Auctions moved hospitality to a corporate suite at this year’s show, allowing the stand to focus on a new damage guide, its first-quarter performance and online bidding. Last year’s packed stand may have looked good, but it proved chaotic – so, says Manheim’s commercial vehicle director Alex Wright, the decision was made to switch hospitality to a more relaxing environment. This allowed those who wanted to talk business and other issues to sit in peace and enjoy the refreshments.

The main focus for the auction house was its new Fair Wear and Tear Guide for HGVs, launched in conjunction with the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association. It published a guide for light CVs last year.

Wright reported a strong first quarter for business in 2007. Key to the increased sales is lead times for new-build products. “Take the Ford Transit. [Lead time] is 12 weeks at the moment, plus a further eight weeks for anything outside the standard wheelbase/height specification of long/high, medium/medium, or short/low,” he says.

Lead time is an issue affecting all CV manufacturers, Wright adds. Customers are turning to the used market to meet their needs because it can deliver faster.

First-quarter sales outperformed the same period for 2005, the best-selling period for light CVs. The average selling price rose by 9% from October 2006 with a 14% rise in the sub-3.0-tonne market. “The used van market is aligned closely to economic conditions although interest rates are rising, most small companies, which predominately buy used, are still flourishing. The used van market has been buoyant for two years and shows no sign of changing,” he says.

Manheim’s online sales channel, CV Live, has been extended to all seven commercial sites selling light CVs across the UK. Since the Manheim Simulcast platform went live in 2004 it has generated £100m in sales and accounts for 15-30% of the group’s vehicle sales. Trials at Gloucester resulted in revenue of £500,000.

“The feedback was so positive from vendors and buyers it continues to prove how the web has become an invaluable tool for any business,” says Wright. “Retailers have less time to spend away from their forecourts. CV Live enables potential buyers to overcome the logistics of physically attending auction, and lets them keep their fingers on the pulse.”


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