January 2024 – Dealer Auction’s latest Retail Margin Monitor has revealed Land Rover products dominated for the third year running, while other premium makes continued to deliver strong returns.
The Retail Margin Monitor identifies the highest retail margins seen on used vehicles bought via the Dealer Auction wholesale platform each month. The Range Rover Evoque took the top spot in December and for the full year, with an annual average retail margin of £3,325.
This will come as no surprise to followers of the Retail Margin Monitor, who will have observed a Land Rover product occupying the top position in all but one month during 2023. Indeed, the Range Rover Evoque achieved the joint-highest retail margin on record in November 2023, commanding an impressive £5,100 profit. This matched the Land Rover Discovery 4’s average margin in August 2022.
The Volvo XC60 achieved the second-highest margin over the year (£2,700), followed by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class in third (£2,650).
Luxury derivatives accounted for 100% of the 2023 top 10. Notably, three spots are held by Mercedes-Benz models, with the E-Class followed by the C-Class in sixth place (£2,500) and A-Class in seventh (£2,450).
Dealer Auction’s Marketplace Director, Kieran TeeBoon, commented: “The top-selling profit-makers were consistent in 2023, with Land Rover continuing to reign supreme and other premium models regularly appearing in the top 10. Despite the economic and political headwinds in 2023, it’s clear that there are significant opportunities for stock-savvy dealers to bolster their profit margins and start 2024 on a high. The new data adds valuable extra context for dealers, too – for example, the tenth-place BMW 1 Series was the quickest seller of the year.”
From May 2023, Dealer Auction included two new metrics with the Retail Margin Monitor to further support dealers in identifying the most profitable stock for their forecourts. The average ‘Auto Trader days to sell’ reflects the estimated number of days it will take a dealer to sell that vehicle in their local area, while the average ‘Auto Trader Retail Rating’ uses three key metrics1 to determine consumer demand for the vehicle, with a higher score being more desirable. All of which is available on each vehicle listed on Dealer Auction.
At brand level, Land Rover drew the highest profit for the third year running, with an average of £3,400. It was followed by BMW (£2,700) and Mercedes-Benz (£2,575), reflecting the pattern seen in the monthly tables. Over the year, Land Rover ranked first 11 times, while BMW and Mercedes-Benz held top three spots ten times and six times respectively.
Interestingly, while the same premium marques made up the overall top ten in both 2021 and 2022, there was more diversity in 2023, with a 60:40 split between premium and mainstream makes.
Underscoring the Range Rover Evoque’s top spot in the 2023 table is its first-place ranking in the December 2023 chart, with an average retail margin of £4,675. However, there was more diversity further down the table with mainstream models the Peugeot 2008, Ford Kuga and Peugeot 3008 claiming the sixth, seventh and ninth spots, respectively. They fell just shy of the annual top 10.
TeeBoon, concluded: “This annual round-up is a brilliant indicator of long-term trends, but the performance of the Peugeot and Ford models in December reinforces the importance of looking at the most up-to-date insights to stay ahead of the curve.
“It’s also important to dig that little bit deeper into the monthly data and use it to find the stock that will suit your business goals. For example, in December 2023, the ninth-place Peugeot 3008 was the joint-fastest seller, alongside the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. By harnessing the power of data, dealers can curate a healthy stock mix of ‘quick wins’ and opportunities for higher profit in 2024.”
Richard Walker, Director of Data and Insights at Auto Trader commented: “The RMM again reveals the many profit opportunities available to retailers who make data-driven pricing decisions. Our data clearly shows that the fundamentals of the used car market remain solid; consumer demand is robust, and cars are selling quickly, which combined with the slow return in supply, means retail prices continue to show more resilience than trade.
“Worryingly, it appears some pricing strategies are being guided by wholesale trends, placing pressure on retail values, and risking profits in the process. Our data shows that nearly 52,000 cars are currently being priced below their market value by circa 8,000 retailers, which is potentially costing them over £35 million in lost profits. Rather than just a cause for concern, the retail and wholesale markets being out of sync also presents a profit opportunity for retailers who analyse the data on a car-by-car basis and price stock relative to retail valuations.”
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About Dealer Auction
Dealer Auction is the UK’s leading digital remarketing platform. We give buyers and sellers more choice, better insight and greater margins. Dealer Auction is an independent company, created through a joint venture between Cox Automotive and Auto Trader. For more information, visit www.dealerauction.co.uk.
Launched in January 2022, Dealer Auction’s Retail Margin Monitor tracks the potential retail margin that can be achieved on vehicles bought via Dealer Auction’s open network. We track models meeting two key criteria: more than 20 units sold with a retail price of less than £25,000. We then compare the sold price for each model with the Auto Trader market average to reveal the potential margin. For the brand table, we compare models with more than 50 units sold. We crunch the numbers at the start of every new month.
The average ‘Auto Trader Retail Rating’ uses three key metrics to determine the consumer demand for the vehicle:
- Average days to sell – Calculated for the whole of the UK and then adjusted for the variations Auto Trader have observed locally in your area.
- Live market supply – Comparing the national supply level for the vehicle over the last seven days with the usual level of supply Auto Trader have seen in the market over the last six months.
- Live buyer demand – Analysing how many people are currently searching for the vehicle on Auto Trader, comparing consumer search behaviour over the last seven days against the level of interest over the last six months.