FREDERICK, Md. — The National Auto Auction Association's 13th annual survey determined that sales of used vehicles totaled 8.9 million units worth $80.5 billion at member auctions last year.
Delving deeper into NAAA 2009 data revealed that fleet/lease and repo vehicles represented the largest number of units sold at 47.3 percent. Next were dealer-consigned vehicles at 39.3 percent, followed by factory vehicles at 10.3 percent. NAAA reported that just 3 percent of units came from other sources.
The association's survey also found that while the number of vehicles entering auctions decreased by 14.5 percent to 14.6 million, the decline in the sale of used vehicles was significantly lower due to the largest conversion rate in the history of the survey.
Sales of used vehicles totaled 8.9 million units worth $80.5 million, down 5.9 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively, since NAAA began the annual review in 1997.
"Given the financial downturn and problems that have plagued the auto industry beginning in 2008, a small decline was not unexpected," explained NAAA president Dave Angelicchio.
"It's encouraging to note this is only the third time in 13 years we've seen any kind of decline," he continued.
Angelicchio went on to describe some of the other results.
"I think the survey results show the strength and depth of a mature industry that despite various challenges over its seven decades has demonstrated its resiliency," he stressed.
"I'm confident we'll continue to be a vital and growing part of our nation's economy in the decades to come," Angelicchio added.
Association officials emphasized that this year's results reflect a continuing wholesale auction industry trend toward full-service facilities. They noted that 99 percent of North American auctions now offer detail shops, while 92 percent have body repair and paint shops.
Elsewhere, all 100 percent of auctions included in the survey provide transportation services —either in-house or sublet. Also, 98 percent of auctions offer some level of mechanical services as well as dealer financing.
Survey data determined that the average NAAA member operates a seven-lane facility on 78 acres. The typical operation employs 146 people with a payroll of $3.1 million and contributes $32,400 annually to charity.
NAAA believes the survey provides the most accurate picture available of the wholesale auction industry. The association had a 70-percent response rate, representing 217 North American member auctions.
Officials pointed out that the numbers for sales, units entered and gross values are projected to the total NAAA membership of 312.
LarsonAllen of Arlington, Va., conducted the survey for NAAA.