Manheim Index sets record for 3rd straight month

ATLANTA - 

The record-setting streak for the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index reached three months in a row when Cox Automotive shared the new reading on Monday.

The report indicated wholesale used-vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 0.75 percent month-over-month in July. This rise brought the index reading to 130.3, which was a record high for the third consecutive month and a 2.6-percent increase from a year ago.

The new high mark is more than 30 points above the index’s low point of 98.0 registered in December 2008.

On a year-over-year basis, analysts noticed prices for mid-size cars produced the largest decline in July, softening by 0.9 percent.

Each of the other five vehicle categories analysts track for the index registered price gains, with pickups leading the way at 7.8 percent and vans not far off at 5.5 percent.

Prices for CUV and SUVs along with luxury cars ticked up by nearly similar rates at 1.9 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. Even compact cars edge slightly higher as prices for those units ticked up 0.2 percent year-over-year.

“Wholesale market values continue to show strength despite concerns that increasing off-lease maturities would result in a used vehicle supply glut and rapidly declining used-car values,” Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke said in his commentary associated with the latest index update.

“Instead, used-vehicle sales are growing, driven by double-digit year-over-year growth in sales of vehicles less than 4 years old.  Increased demand is absorbing the higher supply of newer vehicles.”

Analysts also mentioned that rental risk pricing improved as volumes dropped.

Cox Automotive determined that the average price for rental risk units sold at auction in July decreased by 2 percent year-over-year in July, which was a significant improvement over June.  Rental risk prices were up 3 percent compared to June.

Average mileage for rental risk units in July (at 41,400 miles) was 2 percent below a year ago, according to analysts.

Smoke closed his commentary by emphasizing the U.S. economy “remains strong.”

 According to the first estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. economy grew 2.6 percent in the second quarter. 

“Consumer spending on both durable and nondurable goods drove most of the growth in the second quarter,” Smoke said. “Consumer confidence strengthened to the second-highest level in 16 years in July (only higher month was March).”

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