There is a growing trend of manufacturers repatriating ex-lease vehicles back into their franchise dealer network, as demand for quality used stock increases.
This is according to a report from e-commerce solutions provider epyx, which revealed that activity through its 1link Disposal Network platform and elsewhere suggests that fewer ex-manufacturer cars and vans are being disposed of through open sales to retailers.
The 1link Disposal Network is a source of trade stock in the UK, offering a range of cars and vans from leasing companies and motor manufacturers. Its service covers functions including vehicle procurement, maintenance, hire, remarketing and relicensing.
Repatriation has been a long term trend that manufacturers have been following for a number of years, according to Vicky Gardner, head of remarketing at epyx, with the aim of strengthening residual values and provide an early opportunity for franchise dealers to acquire the best stock.
“However, as the balance of activity in franchise dealerships has shifted decisively away from new to used car sales over the last year, this process has very much accelerated,” said Gardner. “Increasingly, cascade models for disposal offer the best stock to franchisees on more than one occasion before it is offered to other dealers. This works for manufacturers because they can achieve the best values and for franchise dealers because they get the best stock.”
The trend also points to the increased interest that manufacturers are taking in the used car sector, continued Gardner. “The issues that are affecting the new car sector such as Brexit are not within the gift of manufacturers to resolve. However, they are able to have significant influence on used car and van sales by controlling how and where stock is sold as much as possible.
“With no obvious end date in sight for a recovery in the new car sector, we expect this focus on used vehicles to continue.”