Stuttgart – Numerous exclusive classics from Mercedes-Benz are amongst the most valuable vehicles in the world. Just how valuable they are is regularly tracked, for example, by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) of the Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI) based in London, UK. The index works in a similar way to the indices for securities, but it refers to high-quality classic cars as investment values. Here is the current original HAGI comment on the performance of the MBCI in April 2013.
MBCI performance in April 2013: −0.10 points (−0.08 per cent) to an index price of 126.52. Since the beginning of the year the index has increased by 13.31 per cent, and by +12.02 per cent in the last twelve months.
Dominant 300 SL (W 198) models: both the 300 SL Coupé and Roadster dominate the HAGI MBC Index in April. This applies to the weighting in the index and to the price performance compared with the other models in the MBCI universe.
Due to its market size (average price multiplied by the number of surviving vehicles) the two 300 SL variants play a dominant role in several respects in the MBCI.
In April, this “market capitalisation” means that the 300 SL Roadster, with 15.7 per cent, is weighted in first place in the index, whilst the 280 SL (W 113) is in second place with 4.7 per cent and the 300 SL Coupé in third place with 13.7 per cent. So the two 300 SL models combined make up 29.4 per cent of the MBCI. This share alone corresponds to a capitalisation of over 1.5 billion euros.
The high weighting is also reflected in the price performance in April. The MBCI remained unchanged in principle and only fell by 0.1 point. But isolating the 300 SL in the index calculation reveals that the other components of the index combined fell by more than 3 per cent in the month of April. So the increase in both 300 SL variants almost entirely compensated for the price decrease in the other models.
The HAGI generally observes a trend towards higher-quality vehicles in the overall market and also within the various model groups. High-grade original vehicles in a good condition are in principle assessed on the same footing here as those which have already been properly restored. But high-grade original vehicles can also considerably exceed restored vehicles in value. The valuation differs merely in terms of the personal taste of the buyers, regarding the particular vehicle condition they prefer. These trends were visible in April, for example in the case of such vehicle models as the 220 Cabriolet (W 187), 220 S Cabriolet (W 180), 250 SL (W 113), 280 SE Coupé 3.5 (W 111), 450 SEL 6.9 (W 116) and 600 (W 100).
Whilst the other HAGI Indices again posted an increase during April, the MBCI consolidated over the past two months. A development which certainly appears logical, for the increase in the MBCI in the first quarter already significantly exceeds the long-term annual value of almost 9 per cent which has been determined since 1980 via back test, and is also above the value for the entire year of 2012 (+11.65 per cent).
In April, the MBCI was calculated virtually entirely from private and dealer transactions all over the world. Market participants report that, due to the currently prevailing global macroeconomic framework conditions, buyers are prepared to invest their funds in valuable classic cars. In this way they can combine passion and lifestyle aspects in this sector with tactical financial considerations.
Further key indicators and index diagrams are available in the HAGI MBCI factsheet, which can be downloaded from the HAGI website http://www.historicautogroup.com (registration and login required).
Background to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI)
The HAGI Indices were presented for the first time in January 2009. They exist for various car brands and have become established globally as a measure of value in the market for classic vehicles. The Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) was launched in 2012 and on 31 December 2011 it was initialised with a value of 100. It currently records the performance of 29 of the brand’s classics. Some 23 of these models are amongst the historically most important classics of all.
All HAGI Indices use as their basis a weighting of surviving vehicles, as opposed to pure production figures, which are of little relevance in the case of vehicles with an age of 30 years or more. The MBCI pools more than 30,000 surviving vehicles from the Mercedes-Benz brand with a capital value of more than 4 billion pounds sterling (as at 2012). These vehicles date back to the period from 1926 to 1995. The index takes into account further parameters in order to paint as precise an overall picture as possible.
Background: Historic Automobile Group International
The Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI), founded in 2007, is an independent research institute for investments and has specialised in rare classic cars. The HAGI Top Index is published every month on the Financial Times website. The aim is to create market transparency and to enable market participants to make decisions on the basis of data orientation. HAGI operates a database which comprises over 100,000 actual transactions. The entries start with the production date of the vehicle and are updated daily. The data are mainly taken from four sources: private contacts, brand specialists, dealers, and auction results.