MTI dispatches from the front line

It’s time for another MTI front line dispatch. What’s hot ant the moment? What’s the “kiss of death”? What are buyers looking for? How are the auctions doing? What’s morale like on the “shop floor”?

What’s hot?
Well 1.2, 1.4, 1.6/1.9/2.0 TDi hatchbacks or estates above S level trim i.e. SE, Sport, Zetec etc price range between £3-£7,000 all good news. Anything exceptionally good on fuel like an Audi A2 1.4 TDi, Seat Ibiza 1.2S, anything green (or blue in the case of VW and Mercedes) environmentally advantaged, auto diesel very popular. High spec unique cars, best in class examples with low mileage are still very desirable while popular brands are still shifting the metal; Ford, BMW, VW, Vauxhall etc.

What’s not?
4wd prices are hitting rock bottom, big petrol engine 1.8/2.0 and so on with low spec are now officially the kiss of death. Car buyers are being turned off by anything with over 60k on the clock. There are too many 3-4 year old ex-lease cars with 80k plus on the market so they should be cheap.

Car buyers are now more than ever looking for value adds; free insurance/service packages, extended warranties, 0 % finance deals, low tax and insurance.

Auction footfall is significantly down putting increased pressure on vendors to dispose of stock. This in turn is leading to big price reductions and downturn in values. There is certainly lots of choice for buyers both wholesale and retail and therefore everyone is being choosy.

A lack of confidence from buyers is definitely filtering through and is leading to low morale in dealerships. On the plus side however there are good signs that good operators are still selling cars and making profit, finance and insurance (f&i) income is increasing but access to funds still remains difficult.

Some dealers are doing very well at the moment. News reaches us of some dealerships shifting 20 plus cars in the first 5 days of the month so June really may start busting out all over.

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4 Responses to MTI dispatches from the front line

  1. Mark R June 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Do you ever talk to the trade outside of dealerships? i really do wonder, anything green !!! probably the worst selling colour on anything in the independent sector (except maybe doom blue)

    Auto Diesel very popular? where? just about every Auto diesel we have ever bought has sat about for ever and i know of very very few indie dealers who would prefer Auto over manual in Diesel, as for over 60k being unpopular, there is a “very very” successful independent dealer i know who only sells 100,000 miles plus, admittedly they are all 1 company owner, late, very high spec luxury cars, but he can’t get enough of them and i am really not exaggerating!

    I know i have said it countless times but we leave the 1.2 1.4 1.6 models to the dealerships on the simple fact that that’s what they all seem to buy, why have a BMW 318 when you could have a 330? why have a Focus 1.6 when you could have an ST version? and more importantly there are fewer high spec lumpy cars available for the public to buy anyway, that’s why (some) main agent salespersons never last the course when you give them a job, they find it so hard to go for the risky high profit option and find it almost impossible to value real heavy metal, and lastly, when did the Audi A2 1.4 TDi even begin to get popular? the independents seem to avoid them like the plague, then again you may know someone who found one without the dashboard lit up like a christmas tree!

    C’mon guys, speak about the other side of the business once in a while, not just comfy dealership sellers who never use their own money to buy anyway and probably wouldn’t have the balls even if they did………………………

  2. MTI June 9, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    We should have put “green” in inverted commas as in eco friendly or “blue” (blue motion, blue efficiency etc)

  3. Mark R June 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    Well, at least you published my rant, fair do’s for that…………..

    • MTI June 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

      Well Mark you know as well as we do that the motor trade is all about opinions!

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