It has been a busy year in an increasingly polarised used car market with top independents and big dealer groups building market share at the expense of smaller rivals who are struggling to compete.
Franchised dealer groups have been turning to used cars as the new car market went into reverse and this is showing in their financials. Lookers, for example, turned in a solid used car performance in the nine months to September. Used cars values remained stable over this period and made a 27 percent gross profit contribution, with a 10 percent rise in used car turnover and a 10% increase in gross per unit profit from used vehicles.
Vertu Motors is another group that performed strongly in used cars. Its first half performance saw like-for-like used retail volumes rise 5.8%. And Pendragon continues to invest heavily in its used car business with the creation of four industrial used car preparation and refurbishment centres. While this has dented short term profitability longer term it believes it will reap its own rewards.
Vertu Motors (LON:VTU) is the sixth largest automotive retailer in the UK with a network of 125 sales outlets across the UK. Its dealerships operate predominantly under the Bristol Street Motors, Vertu, Farnell and Macklin Motors brand names.