3 factors to determine where prices land by end of 2017

McLEAN, Va. - 

J.D. Power Valuation Services might have sounded like the firm formerly known as NADA Used Car Guide was repeating itself when analysts shared both their assessment of used-vehicle price movement in June and their projection for July.

According to the latest edition of Guidelines, J.D. Power Valuation Services reported that wholesale prices of used vehicles up to 8 years old softened by 2.2 percent in June, a dip in line with analysts’ expectations.

And it turns out when looking to what might happen in July, J.D. Power Valuation Service is predicting that wholesale prices for these vehicles will again drop by 2.2 percent, a reading not quite as dramatic as what analysts recorded during that month a year ago.

“At the segment level, mainstream losses are expected to be relatively consistent across the board,” analysts said in the report. “Midsize and large pickups continue to perform very well and are forecast to outperform the industry average.

“Losses for all premium segments are forecast to fall by slightly more than the industry average for the month,” analysts continued.

Looking toward full-year expectations, J.D. Power Valuation Services predicted that used-vehicle prices should decline by about 6 percent, which would be 2 percentage points higher than the final decrease of 4 percent seen for all of 2016.

“Ongoing increase in supply, higher incentives and a normalizing retailing environment — including credit conditions — will ultimately dictate losses,” analysts explained in the report.

J.D. Power Valuation Services arrived at its full-year projection after reviewing June’s movements, which analysts pointed out typically land at about 2.2 percent dating back over the past five years.

The June reading also left the J.D. Power Valuation Services’ Seasonally Adjusted Used Vehicle Price Index unchanged at 111.1. While staying flat on a sequential basis, the June index reading is 7.6 percent lower than what analysts recorded last June (120.2).

Looking closer at the June information, J.D. Power Valuation Services noted that prices decreases for subcompact, compact, midsize and large cars all settled between 3.2 percent and 3.4 percent.

Also of note, the 3.4 percent drop for large cars led the entire car segment and it also was the largest decrease for those kinds of vehicles since June 2001 when analysts noticed a 3.7 percent tumble.

“Most of the large car segment’s makes and models had a fairly average performance in June,” analysts said in the report, while adding that sharp price drops for the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger from the 2010 to 2013 model years triggered much of the overall movement, and in particular the 7 percent fall-off for the 2010 Dodge Charger.

Meanwhile, J.D. Power acknowledged the June decreases for subcompacts and compacts were not “outside historical norms” as declines of about 3 percent for these segments have been seen during the past five years.

As far as price declines for the utility segments, analysts classified them as “scattered” in the June report. Midsize utilities averaged a 1.5 percent price softening in June as prices for compact utilities dipping slightly more at 2.2 percent.

Analysts added prices for midsize vans declined less than 1 percent in June.

As far as trucks go, J.D. Power explained these units are “continuing their run of wholes price dominance.” The report indicated prices for large and midsize pickups ticked up by 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, in June.

“Over the past five years, pickup prices have performed well compared to the rest of the industry on average,” analysts said in the report. “That stated, prices typically declined slightly during the period.

“While sales were strong across the board in the midsize pickup group, 2015 Chevrolet prices were exceptionally strong and increased by an average of just below 3 percent,” analysts added.

J.D. Power Valuation Services closed its latest price discussion by touching on the luxury side of the market, noting that all premium segments outperformed the overall industry average in June.

Analysts pointed out that luxury midsize utilities did experience their largest price drop so far in 2017 by dropping by an average of 2.1 percent in June. However, the report mentioned that figure was nearly identical to what’s been recorded in June for these units going back five years.

Other segments of note in the luxury categories included June prices for luxury large cars dipping by 1.2 percent and June prices for luxury midsize cars softening by 1.8 percent.

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