In search of good stock
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• Independent dealers are enjoying a flying start to 2002—if they can get hold of the right stock.
"Last year there were more window shoppers than there were people with money in their pockets, but the quality of enquiries so far this year has been much better," says Martin Smith of Macs Truck Sales. "There's a lot more serious interest—picking up good stock is very difficult though."
"We've had quite a good January, but the stock shortage is a problem, and when you do buy as a dealer you have to be very selective," says Martin Dwyer of Southfield Commercials. "Prices are falling quite quickly so far as some makes and models are concerned, so if you can't retail a vehicle fairly promptly, you may lose out."
With this in mind he attempts to stock vehicles that are just that bit unusual.
"I'm talking about things like an eight-wheeler with a Moffett Mounty on the back, or an eightwheeler with a fridge body," he says. "Every dealer in the country has got a box-bodied 7.5tanner, and having something different to offer gives you an edge over the competition."
"We're off to a good start," says Lee Smith, general manager of Hanbury Riverside.
He tends to concentrate on late-registered, low-mileage, high-powered tractors, mainly Volvos and Scanias. "I'm talking about S, T and Vplated units at about 400hp," he explains. Smith has just secured an agreement that will guarantee him a steady supply of Volvo tractors that fall into this category during the first half of the year: they're being disposed of by an unnamed operator.
"It's a major deal, and makes things easier for us than having to constantly search around for a truck here and a truck there," he says.