Cox Automotive, which owns brands including NetSol and Manheim, has predicted a strong year for 2018, after reporting strong results in 2017.
According to Philip Nothard, head of external relations at Cox Automotive, the business saw growth across the board, with all of its businesses reporting ‘a solid 12 months.’
Overall volumes at Manheim remained within 1% of 2016 volumes, while Cox’s Dealer Auction platform grew volumes by 7%.
Both Manheim and Cox’s car sales platform Motors.co.uk recorded a small uplift in diesel sales, despite the negative headlines surrounding the fuel. Nothard noted: “The fuel row which came to a head in the latter part of the year clearly played a part in the performance of the new car market, but we’ve been less affected from a used point of view across both wholesale and consumer. There is clearly a continuing appetite for all variants which we expect to continue, specifically in the £20-40k price bands for diesel.”
Overall, Motors.co.uk recorded a 9.6% growth in average retail price listed to £13,108.
NextGear Capital, the stock funding arm of Cox Automotive, saw a 37% increase in units funded and reported a 3.7% increase in dealers using the business during 2017.
Nothard added: “Although the new car market proved tough in 2017, as many predicted, dealers showed resilience, with positive growth through used sales and aftersales servicing. Many have also done well to anticipate the shift in consumer demand and ensure used car stock levels remained high to compensate as they headed into January.”
“We expect 2018 to be a positive year for the UK automotive industry. The sentiment from dealers is that used vehicles will continue to take prominence, and further investment in providing top class aftersales service will be a key priority for 2018.”
“We also predict an ever-increasing appetite for, and greater reliance on, insight and data, not only to take advantage of profitable aftersales opportunities, but as dealerships look to understand customer behaviour and what’s working – or not – in the market.”
“Continued political pressure and intense media scrutiny on diesel will, at some point, see consumers in the used market mirror the shift we’ve already seen in the new car market. As such, we expect dealers will turn to their own data, and that of partners, to help them anticipate what customers are likely to want to buy next, and so effectively forecast stock profiles for the months ahead.”