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USED car sales this year have posted records but Cox Automotive reports that July had shown some easing in daily volumes.

In its latest report, it said that August was expected to see some stabilising based on the very low availability of active stock and visible trends for the 30-day rolling average.

Cox’s CAARS market report said, however, that the “stabilisation” was about 2300 vehicle sales a day and that this was “hardly cause for a negative outlook”.

“That said, current lock-down measures in Melbourne and Stage 3 Covid-19 restrictions in regional Victoria will put pressure on maintaining this volume throughout August,” it said.

“July 2020 reported a 10.3 per cent decline in delisted vehicles compared to June 2020.

“Compared to the same period last year the number of used vehicle sales increased 17.7 per cent from July 2019 to July 2020.”

The report said that there was a fall of 2.3 per cent in active listings on Cox’s online sales platforms in July compared to the previous month of June.

There was also a 15.9 per cent decrease in active listings in July 2020 compared to the same period last year.

“On average, active vehicles were listed in the market for 19 days in July compared to June 2020 which reported an average of 23 days,” it said.

“In July 2019, active vehicles were listed for 17 days.”

The decrease in listings came with a fall in online consumer activity with a 23.8 per cent decrease in unique users visiting the Cox sites in July 2020 compared with June 2020.

“With the decrease in unique visitors a marginal reduction in average page views was expected, finishing the month down 2.3 per cent to an average of 2.99 pages viewed per unique visitor,” it said.

“Aligning with the decrease in unique website users and time spent on site, July reports a 4.9 per cent decrease in the number of leads submitted across our websites.”

However, Cox reports that there was an increase in conversion rates that went against the downward trend in unique visitors.

“It indicates that customers who remain in the market are of a high quality,” the report said.

“This is a positive indicator of improved consumer sentiment and the impact of conversion optimisations updates rolled out to the modular website platform in Q3.”

It added that Covid-19 has put pressure on consumers who are now relying on digital retailing to purchase vehicles online due to lockdown restrictions.

“With a 27.8 per cent increase in the number of online deposits received via our dealer websites, the average deposit in July was $419,” it said.

“This represents a 15.4 per cent increase than the average deposit in June which was $363.”

The report shows the Top three brands for used-car sales in the period June 15, 2020 to July 31, 2020 were Toyota, Holden and Mitsubishi.

The best-selling Toyota models in 2020 were, in order, the HiLux, Corolla and RAV4 compared with the same period in 2019 when the three were led by the Corolla, with HiLux and Camry in second and third.

Holden’s best-selling three were Commodore, Colorado and Captiva (unchanged from 2019) while Mitsubishi mixed its best sellers up, with Triton, Outlander and then ASX for 2020 and Triton, ASX and Outlander in 2029.The CAARS market insights report is available on the Manheim site.

By Neil Dowling

KPMG
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