New coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns cause havoc for the used car market.

• Dealers have been stocking up to meet demand with stock up 4.9% month-on-month

• But used car sales have gone into reverse as a second spike in Covid-19 sees new restrictions across Europe resulting in a -15.6% fall in sales year-on-year (October +12.5%).

• Stock turn remains higher than a year ago with diesel (+9% YoY) and petrol (+14% YoY) still in demand.

• But reduced demand over last month has seen stock turn reduce with diesel at 5.6x, petrol 5.1x, hybrids at 4.2x and BEVs sitting in stock the longest with a stock turn of just 3.8x.

• Used car sales have fallen for both petrol (-15%) and diesel (-22%) whilst alternative powertrains have fared better with BEVs up +84% and hybrids +62% YoY.

• Stock turns of non-ICE cars remain well below the market norm (3.8x BEVs and 4.2x hybrid) indicating a risk that dealers may be having to push alternative powertrains to keep stock moving.

• There are rumours of some OEMs supporting tactical sales (0km/pre-registrations) to lower their fleet emissions but with <1-year old volumes down so significantly (-20.0% YoY) the data suggests any action being taken is very limited.

• But stock turn levels for <1-year old cars rose by 13% YoY with 1-2-year-old car stock turns increasing by 15% indicating strong demand compared to this time last year.

• Our pricing index is based on a consistent basket of vehicles and therefore we would expect prices to soften month on month due to lifecycle, but prices remain firm or even increasing in most countries as demand continues to exceed supply.

• December is normally the quietest month in the automotive sales calendar and whilst Portugal, Germany and Italy have been notable exceptions the November lockdown and its impact on car sales looks like it may have all but ended the car sales market a month earlier as consumers’ focus switches to the festive period and making up for lost retail shopping time.


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