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By Mark Bulmer, CAP Black Book After last month's consolidation of cabriolets' average values you wouldn't have bet against seeing a rise in values this month. However, this month has seen this sector easily outperform most other sectors, including the 4x4 part of the market. One small dealer I visit from time to time has completely changed his stock profile in a matter of weeks. This is one of the reasons he is so successful - he is so quick at judging the market and responding accordingly. From a stock of around 50 vehicles I counted 11 cabriolets all prepared and on show. What I also noticed was most of the convertibles on sale were what I would describe as rag- tops and not the hard- top fold- away models. The vendor said he had been slowly collecting his Sector outperforms rest of the market as soft tops come into their own cabriolet stock over several months and has done this every winter for several years. I suppose that if you are not under the constraints of rigid stock ageing policies you can do this. The vendor also said he doesn't do quite the same thing with hard top cabriolets because overall these vehicles are always readily available as volumes always remain high. Some very large fleet operators have been holding back significant amounts of cabriolet stock and will start to introduce them to the market during April using large auction events. This could be seen as quite risky and, although I would expect the odd large sale of these vehicles to be a real success, it remains to be seen if this kind of a sale can be repeated several times over the spring and early summer when perhaps over- supply could meet typical British summer weather conditions. Looking at the sector report below you can see that conditions at the moment do look good for cabriolet sales. Black Book Apr 2010 - avg value movements 1 yr/ 10k 3 yr/ 60k 5 yr/ 80k City car 0.9% 0.7% 0.1% Supermini 1.4% 0.9% - 0.1% Lower medium 0.1% 0.6% 0.5% Upper medium 1.1% 1.1% 0.1% Small executive 0.1% 0.1% - 0.1% Executive 0.3% 0.2% - 0.2% MPV 0.2% 0.2% - 0.8% Mini MPV - 0.1% 0.2% - 0.3% 4x4 1.5% 1.5% 1.5% Convertible 1.6% 2.6% 2.1% Coupé cabriolet 2.0% 2.5% 1.7% Overall avg book movement 0.6% 0.7% 0.2% Overall book movement ( 1 - 7 yrs)* 0.4% * 1- 7 years is based on several mileages per plate y Cabriolet values surge Used car analysis For daily automotive news visit www. am- online. com/ news More CAP analysis Click here

New car market Aftersales conference News Showroom AM contacts Used car market News digest Recruitment These finding do show that if you have the capital to hold stock over the winter months you will perhaps make a good return. My view would be to keep your risk to a minimum, especially with how we have all seen the market pitch around over the last two years. White - is it the new silver? We have all been aware for quite some time now that white cars have been making a real comeback as I am sure you have too. The questions for a long time have been ' is it a flash in the pan?' and ' how long do you think it will last?' At first, it was probably best not to have an opinion but to watch the market. As some contract hire companies are now asked daily if they can supply a white vehicle and the answer can sometimes be no, we thought that might be costing them busi­ness. Contract hire companies have obviously got a clear focus on a car's three- year value and quite rightly think that too many white cars in the market will lower values. With that in mind we have captured data relating to sold vehicles, then from that we have checked the recorded colours and how they have performed to CAP Clean over several year plates. As you can see above, white has held up quite well and, on the face of it, you would think that if you let white in as a colour choice values should be fine. On further examination we then looked at models and colours together and this changed things considerably. These findings showed that, in white, high- spec sport models performed far better than a standard vehicle. Contract hire companies should continue to choose carefully which models they will allow in white and also the numbers involved. Meanwhile, silver could really start to suffer as more Government agencies choose silver when they used to choose white. 10210110099989796959493929190% CAPBlackBlueGreyRedSilverWhite Feb2010 disposals - AVE % CAP acheived on 3yr plate ( 07 56) by colour