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Latest market report: HAGI Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) in October 2013
Numerous exclusive Mercedes-Benz classics are among the world’s most valuable vehicles. The Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) by Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI) maps market developments. Here are the latest comments on the price performance of the MBCI in October 2013.
Compared with the previous month, the MBCI showed a rise of 11.51 points (8.93 per cent) in October 2013, closing at an index level of 140.44 points. This is a new record figure. Calculated over the last twelve months, the index has risen by 24.12 per cent and is thus significantly above the long-term annual average of 8.8 per cent measured by HAGI.
Furthermore, the HAGI Top ex. P&F Index, which includes the index heavyweights Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé and Roadster (both W 198) along with classic vehicles of other brands, showed a rise of 3.2 per cent in October compared with September. At the end of 2008, the index was based on a price of 100 British pounds. In October 2013, this figure stood at 214.01 pounds, this, however, was not a record an all time high. This was reached in August 2013 at 225 pounds.
Following the record prices achieved this year by rare classics of all brands at the auctions in Monterey, USA, in August – as also included in the HAGI Top Index – it would seem that September brought a slight over-supply of vehicles. For Mercedes-Benz this was apparent, for example, in the case of the W 116, W 121, W 128, W 186, and W 198 model series. However, by the time the autumn comes many collectors are getting their portfolio into position in preparation for the following year’s season. At the same time, collectors from the southern hemisphere are preparing for the season there. As a result, the MBCI caught up with itself again in October, going on to exceed its own record figure of July 2013.
This mirrors the experience of HAGI in recent years, which shows record figures for individual vehicles being achieved at the major auctions in the USA (Scottsdale, Amelia Island, Pebble Beach) or at shows and exhibitions such as Technoclassica in Essen, Germany. It is frequently the case that additional or unsold vehicles are seen to come onto the market shortly after such events and subsequently change hands at much lower prices. The HAGI Indices reflect these periods of consolidation.
Among the so-called Emerging Classics – more recent vehicles with the potential to appreciate in value – HAGI has noted an increase in activity in recent months. In the case of the 450 SEL 6.9 (W 116), SL models from the R 107 model series, the 500 E/E 500 (W 124) or the W 126 model series from the S-Class, for example, price levels have risen. In October, HAGI recorded an increase of more than 9 per cent in this segment compared with the previous month. The top prices are, however, only achieved by very well equipped and appointed vehicles with documented provenance and low mileage.
Other key indicators and index charts can be found in the HAGI MBCI fact sheet, which is available for download from the HAGI website at (registration and login required).
Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) background
The HAGI indices were first presented in January 2009. They are available for various car brands, and have established themselves worldwide as a value indicator in the classic vehicle market. They work on the same principle as indices for stocks and shares, but reference high-value classic vehicles as capital investments. The Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) was launched in 2012, and initialised on 31 December 2011 with a value of 100 British pounds. It now maps the performance for 29 Mercedes-Benz classic vehicles. 23 of these models are among the historically most important classic cars altogether.
All HAGI indices are weighted according to surviving vehicles rather than using only production figures as a basis, as the latter are not very meaningful for vehicles aged 30 years or more. The MBCI pools more than 30,000 surviving Mercedes-Benz vehicles with a capital value of over 4 billion British pounds (as at 2012: equating to over 4.9 billion euros). These vehicles come from the period 1926 to 1995. The index also takes other parameters into account to produce as accurate an overall picture as possible.
Background: Historic Automobile Group International
Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI), founded in 2007, is an independent investment research institute and specialises in rare classic automobiles. The HAGI Top Index is published monthly on the websites of the Financial Times and Handelsblatt. The aim is to create market transparency and enable buyers and sellers to make well-founded decisions on the basis of indicative data. HAGI maintains a database containing more than 100,000 actual transactions. The entries begin with the production date of the vehicle and are updated on a daily basis. The data mainly comes from four sources: private contacts, brand specialists, dealers, and auction results.