Market days supply shows typical year-end rise but petrol rising sharply

Written by Dean Bowkett in category 
February 8, 2019

2018 ended with the usual rise in market days supply (MDS) as dealers increased their stock levels during the quiet year-end selling months, ready to kick start their new year sales push.

MDS saw the sharpest rise in Germany as online business to consumer (B2C) used car sales fell sharply in Q4, down 7.3% over the previous quarter. There was an 11.1% quarterly fall in used diesel car sales and a drop of five per cent for used petrol car sales. Despite the fall in sales, dealers in Germany have been trying to manage their used car stock levels and are adjusting them for the increasing demand for petrol cars in the used market.

Online stock of used diesel lowers
At the end of December 2018 online stock of used diesel cars in Germany were 18% lower than the same period in 2017 whilst petrol vehicle stock levels were up 11.8%.

At the end of 2018, year-on-year MDS fell in Germany (-2.4%), the UK (-6.3%) and Italy (-17.1%) which could be an indication dealers are worried about used car buying demand falling in 2019.

MDS up by 15.6% in Spain
In contrast, MDS was 15.6% up in December 2018 year-on-year in Spain as demand switched from used cars into new cars leaving dealers with an excess of used stock, even though the stock of online B2C used cars in Spain was 18.2% lower by the year end.

A deep dive into INDICATA’s data in the last newsletter revealed that the problem in Spain was being caused by diesel cars. Dealers seem to have realised the change in market demand with the stock of online B2C used diesel cars at the end of the year down 21.1% year-on-year whilst petrol car stock levels fell by just 11.4%.

Petrol MDS rises in France
MDS also rose in France, increasing by 6.8% for the whole used car market with petrol MDS rising by 8.1% in December 2018 compared to December 2017. France has historically always been Europe’s strongest diesel market but used diesel car MDS hit a record 72.55 in December 2018 which is a third higher than the 54.31 MDS for petrol used cars – an indication of how much quicker French dealers are able to sell the relatively short supply of used petrol cars.

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