In what was a solid finish to a strong 2011 for the used-car market, December saw a 12-percent rise in used sales, which pushed the full-year numbers to a gain of more than 5 percent, according to CNW Research.
More specifically, used-vehicle sales for 2011 totaled 38.8 million units, which was 5.2-percent stronger than the total in 2010. During the year’s final month, there were 3.1 million used sales, compared to 2.8 million in December 2010.
Sharing more good news for the business, CNW analysts noted that more people are in the market for a used car compared to 2010
“The number of shoppers to buyers jumped by 20 percent versus a year ago,” they shared. “In hard numbers, about 9.7 million consumers were actively on the hunt for a used car this December, versus 8.1 million a year ago.”
Breaking down the sales data, franchised dealers sold 13.8 million used vehicles in 2011, compared to 12.8 million in 2010. Their December used sales were at 980,873 units, up from 917,842 used sales in December 2010.
As for independents, they moved 13.8 million used units for the year, up from 13.0 million. Independents closed 2011 by selling 965,295 used units in December, an increase from 844,525 used sales in the year-ago period.
There were 11.2 million private-party sales during 2011, compared to 11.1 million in 2010. In December, the market saw 1.2 million private sales, compared to 1.0 million the prior December.
“Private-party sales had their fourth monthly sequential share increase as a growing number of consumers use free Internet sites such as craigslist.com to find buyers,” CNW leaders said in their analysis.
“Other online sites such as AutoTrader.com are also high on the list of private-party selling venues with a 13-percent increase in vehicles offered on the Internet,” they added.
What’s more, CNW emphasized that the December had the highest share of used inventories offered via the Web (73.1 percent). This compares to a 69-percent share in December 2010.
Delving into transaction prices for the month, these fell slightly more than 1 percent year-over-year. However, because sales volume was stronger, the total value of used cars climbed to $28.2 billion, up from $25.6 billion in December 2010.