The UK used car industry may still be mainly closed for business but a new report has revealed how countries emerging from lockdown on the continent are showing green shoots of recovery.
Business intelligence and market insights software specialist Indicata – part of the Autorola Group – said prices here had gone down by just 0.1 per cent over the past few weeks, with its latest Market Watch showing that dealers in continental Europe coming out of the coronavirus lockdown were reviewing and repricing stock, which was helping to fuel consumer demand.
It said it was evident in Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, but pointed out that although the trends were positive, there were as yet no strong signs that the used market would bounce back quickly to previous levels.
Indicata added that heavily locked-down countries had yet to see dealers begin trading and respond to a drop in consumer demand by altering their pricing strategies, with sales staying very low.
April 14 saw Austria become the first European nation to ease lockdown restrictions in the motor industry as smaller dealers were allowed to open again.
Indicata said its typical figure of 1,300 used car sales per day dropped to 300 during the lockdown, but just seven days after the restrictions were relaxed it had gone up to 730 used cars a day.
Meanwhile, German dealers reopened for business on April 20, but the picture has not been rosy there.
The country’s high note for 2020 had been 16,500 sales per day, sinking to 5,500 in lockdown amid restricted trading. Indicata said there were now very early signs of life there, similar to Austria.
Danish dealers, on the other hand, were allowed to trade during lockdown but many chose not to. Easter trading is normally strong there and there was a rise in used car demand during the holiday as consumer confidence improved.
Sweden, which has had the most relaxed governmental measures in the face of coronavirus, saw the biggest retail price reduction of four per cent between February 1 and April 19, as dealers looked to combat the 20 per cent drop in consumer demand there.
Germany has seen a 1.6 per cent fall in advertised prices, and Indicata said it expected to see more of a reduction once the market opens up.