The used truck industry is currently enjoying a perfect storm of lack of supply, lack of demand and the loss of a major leasing operator in the UK.
We all know why there is little stock available – there were relatively few trucks made from 2009 onwards. Gone are the heady days of new truck registrations reaching 55,000 in a year – new truck salesmen are aspiring to hit 48,000 this year with the help of the Euro 6 deadline looming.
There’s no doubt that the economy in general is depressed, despite promising employment statistics, the recent cold snap will have taken its toll on the already fragile economy – some pundits believe we are already in the throws of a triple dip recession.
The icing on the cake back in November last year was the withdrawal of ING from the commercial vehicle leasing market in the UK. This was a key moment, as ING had been pumping up to £1bn into the market – mainly through brokers. Removing the major supplier of finance at the independent truck dealer’s disposal severely reduces their options for placing customers.
Estimates for the size of the loss range from £80 to 91 million per month – a gap that the remaining players, such as Close Brothers will have struggled to fill.
How bad the picture is will become clear when the Finance and Leasing Association publish their next set of figures. The last set of leasing figures released in November 2012 were somewhat rosy with a 10% annual increase, but takes no account of the ING losses bound to arise.
So if you can find a truck and find a customer who wants it you will struggle harder than ever to get them on finance.