LCV Demand on the Rise

Demand for LCVs across SMA Vehicle Remarketing delivered a record sales performance and very high conversions across the business inside of the first three weeks of January. In part, the situation reflects a good increase in supply group-wide as SMA's vendor network grew. The business also points to concerns about falls in future supply following a decline in new van sales in 2012 and changes in LCV regulation due to come into force from April 29th as having stimulating sales.

Shortages of used cars in recent years as new car sales fell appear to have educated LCV buyers that they should buy whilst supply remains robust. 2012 proved to be a tough year for LCV sales up to 3.5 tonnes, which form the majority of commercial sales, falling by 7.9%, with December sales dropping 14.2% year on year. It is a position that paves the way for future stock shortages

"Buyer feedback at all our centres clearly points to strong demand from buyers. Certainly some are concerned about future stock shortages in light of weak new LCV sales last year, but others point to the perceived value offered by used LCVs, even those with higher mileages." Noted SMA Group Sales Director Eddie Thomson, whilst also pointing to future regulatory changes set to impact new LCV supply and costs;

"The BVRLA has already voiced concerns that the forthcoming scope of European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval, will mean that new vans up to 3.5 tonnes will require additional approval for any modifications made to them. Simply ply-lining or racking may be considered to be a 'modification' and whilst industry bodies are working to establish a 'light touch' solution for what might be considered common modifications. There are concerns for both lead times and potential testing/assessment costs. Used vans will typically not be covered by the new regulations, unless subsequent modifications are made. Even as a potentially short-term issue, when coupled with the wider stock supply issues, we see sales performing strongly in the months ahead. Fortunately, secured vendor activity will ensure, that across the Group, we will be well supplied for the foreseeable future."

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Our grading system is changing

NAMA grading has been developed to provide a long awaited industry standard grading scheme to be used across all auctions within the UK.

We have now introduced NAMA grading across our sites, and over the coming weeks you will notice more vehicles being offered for sale displaying a NAMA grade. These grades are easy to identify as they are 1,2,3,4,5 and U in place of the SMA grades A,B,C,D and E.

Please make sure you have familiarised yourself with the grades. We will still produce condition reports providing additional information for each vehicle as we always have.