CAP: Consumers and traders baffled by model variations

Time 9:53 am, November 5, 2013


THE expansion of model variations could cause confusion in the used car trade, according to CAP Automotive.

During the past three years, the number of new car derivatives offered for sale has grown from 2,584 to 2,984, showing an increase of 15 per cent.

However, this is a small figure in comparison to the range of manufacturer option and equipment packages, which has increased across the same period by a staggering 187 per cent.

This means the number of models that can be purchased with a pre-defined set of extras has grown from 1,281 in 2010 to 3,682 in September this year.

Due to the increasing complexity in the used car market, dealers are likely to be ever more wary of making valuation mistakes when part-exchanging with customers, or buying at auction for stock.

These figures were revealed in CAP’s New Vehicle Data database, which also shows there are now a staggering 369,257 possible combinations of vehicle options available in today’s market, compared with just 177,257 in 2010.

Without a ‘fail safe’ valuation system, dealers risk under-valuing or over-valuing cars because they are uncertain of their features. Meanwhile, consumers are even more prone to unrealistic expectations of theirs, or other cars’ true market values.

An example of extreme choice in the used car market is the BMW Mini, with 709 derivatives available as new cars today the number of option combination alternatives for a Mini now stands at 65,836.

CAP operations director, Adrian Rushmore, said: ‘The car market is becoming more dynamic every month as manufacturers seek to inspire their customers with the widest possible choice.

‘But a look at our vast and growing database of model, derivative and equipment permutations reveals that the future is going to be ever more confusing for everyone.’

He added: ‘When you consider that there are now more than 65,000 possible combinations of options on a Mini alone, it’s clear that expert assistance for trade and consumers alike will be more important in the coming years than ever before.’



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