Efficient remarketing remains a cornerstone of the financial viability of fleets, be they leasing companies or household names that take vehicles on their own risk. Manheim Auction Services is the leading remarketing services provider for commercial vehicles with the largest choice of stock, provided by an extensive network of vendors, feeding an active and thriving buyer base numbering 4,500. 

The pandemic saw all auction activity restricted to online, and when conditions permitted a return to ‘business as usual’, some auction companies made the decision to keep the auction halls closed. As a result of strong customer feedback, in 2022 Manheim reopened some of their premises and returned to a hybrid sales programme. Buyers, while becoming more familiar with purchasing ‘unseen’ and trusting the condition reports available online, often preferred to touch the van and network with fellow dealers. This year saw new sales in the north of England and Scotland being introduced by Manheim, expanding on its existing programme and adding a further 850 vans to the wholesale market. Manheim now claims that trade buyers are now on average just 58 miles from a physical sale. 

Manheim achieved a record performance for its customers in 2023. There was a 36% year-on-year increase in the number of vehicles sold, with 75.5% of LCV’s selling at the first attempt. The average selling price is currently £9,364, £2,795 higher than the 2019 equivalent and 42% ahead of pre-pandemic levels.

Partnership is key to Manheim’s activities and this is demonstrated by the relationship the company has with Novuna Vehicle Solutions (formerly Hitachi Capital). Every year Manheim conducts a ‘mega event’ at Novuna’s Wiltshire headquarters, an auction that in 2023 was attended by over 350 buyers. Not only were all entered vehicles sold, but also £8,600 was raised for the homeless charity Shelter. 

With such a large amount of activity, the van industry is keen to hear from Manheim about the latest sale results, trends and opinion. This appetite is fed through a number of channels including social media. Sessions are also held with vehicle valuation guide providers, the SMMT, Auto Trader and Transport for London. 

Manheim is anticipating the level of electric van entries to rise dramatically, particularly after securing a contract with Holman that will see more than 4,000 EVs starting to arrive for disposal from the end of 2023. To cater for this, EV charging facilities have been installed at eight of the sales centres as a result.

As a people-first business, Manheim says that it will do everything it can to innovate and improve the quality of service it provides.

Ian Giblin, remarketing manager at Ford testified. “Manheim through its recent de-fleet expansion has enabled our business to be much more efficient.

“We have moved across all our de-fleet requirements for Ford Motor Company to Manheim. Our long-term goals are very much aligned with Manheim and Cox Automotive’s further growth aspirations and from this, the broad solution set they provide enables our business to be much more efficient as we grow our commercial and car asset portfolio in the UK. We also dispose of all our vans through Manheim and the blended sales approach matched with a strong buyer base really does give the competitive edge we need to maximise our vehicle performances.” 

Steve Barlow, head of remarketing at Zenith said “Manheim has delivered exceptional results for our business over the past 12 months. Manheim is a true people business and the service we receive is simply first class… Thank you, team Manheim, on a fantastic service and year.” 

Highly Commended: Aston Barclay

The year of 2023 has been an exceptional one for Aston Barclay’s LCV sales programme. Selling more than 10,000 units for the first time, supplied by 271 different vendors, an 18% increase on the previous year. Citing the dedicated LCV team as a reason for the continuing success, Aston Barclay claims that having physical sales in addition to online access is drawing incremental dealer and leasing company vendors. 

As electric vans become increasingly part of the LCV parc, Aston Barclay has appointed a new EV lead – his remit is to educate vendors, buyers and Aston Barclay colleagues in all aspects of used EVs. There is a lack of understanding in some areas of the trade and the aim is to increase buyer confidence. Aston Barclay says 160 of the company’s staff are trained to IMI Level 1, meaning that all operational colleagues have consistent knowledge and are able to have credible conversations with vendors and buyers.