Auctions

April price data reflects auction effectiveness

CARMEL, Ind. - 

Going beyond just the metrics, KAR Auction Services chief economist Tom Kontos explained why the latest wholesale price movements reflect auction successes — especially when it comes to handling off-lease vehicles.

According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of wholesale used-vehicle prices by vehicle model class, values in April averaged $11,116, which represented a 2.7-percent lift compared to March but a 0.2-percent dip relative to April of last year.

Analysts indicated average prices were down on a year-over-year basis for both cars and trucks, but luxury cars and minivans were segments with significant volume that had strong year-over-year price gains.

“Average wholesale used vehicle prices registered their second consecutive year-over-year price decline in April,” Kontos said in his latest installment of the Kontos Kommentary. However, April prices were seasonally strong, despite softer retail demand. 

“Prices appeared to be particularly strong for off-lease vehicles, which is testimony to the effectiveness of upstream sales in preventing oversupply of these units at physical auctions,” he continued.

Kontos also continued his deep dive into trends involving fleet and off-lease vehicles that are 3 years old with less than 45,000 miles on the odometer.

When holding constant for sale type, model-year age, mileage, and model class segment, he found that average prices moved higher on a year-over-year basis for both midsize cars and midsize SUV/CUVs. Midsize car prices climbed 4.0 percent or $465 to $12,180 while prices for midsize SUVs and CUVs rose 4.3 percent or $875 to $21,233.

“This analysis indicates that wholesale values for off-lease units are holding up well despite the overall softening market trend and is evidence of the effectiveness of new remarketing approaches in redistributing supply into various sales channels,” Kontos said.

Drilling deeper into the April data, Kontos went on to note that average wholesale prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers rose 4.6 percent month-over-month and 11.5 percent year-over-year.

Prices for fleet/lease consignors were up 2.3 percent sequentially and up 5.8 percent annually.

And average prices for dealer consignors were up 4.5 percent versus March but down 1.5 percent relative to April of last year.

Kontos closed with data he collected from the National Automobile Dealers Association that showed retail used-vehicle sales by franchised dealers softened 12.6 percent year-over-year and  12.0 percent on the same time comparison for independent dealers.

Kontos added that April certified pre-owned sales were down 14.6 percent from the prior month and down 5.8 percent year-over-year, according to figures from Autodata Corp.

“It should be noted that both the NADA and Autodata sales numbers are based on fewer selling days in April, which tends to overstate the declines,” Kontos said. “On a year-to-date basis, CPO sales are up 1.5 percent versus last year.”               

Kontos elaborated about the market in a video available here and at the top of this page.

ADESA Wholesale Used-Vehicle Price Trends

   Average  Price  ($/Unit)  Latest  Month Versus
   April 2018  March 2018  April 2017  Prior Month  Prior Year
           
 Total All Vehicles  $11,116  $10,824  $11,141  2.7%  -0.2%
           
 Total Cars  $8,778  $8,595  $8,968  2.1%  -2.1%
 Compact Car  $6,562  $6,611  $6,805  -0.7%  -3.6%
 Midsize Car  $7,701  $7,591  $7,962  1.5%  -3.3%
 Full-size Car  $7,553  $7,274  $8,504  6.6%  -8.8%
 Luxury Car  $13,474  $13,088  $13,317  2.9%  1.2%
 Sporty Car  $14,625  $14,194  $14,694  3.0%  -0.5%
           
 Total Trucks  $13,139  $12,779  $13,187  2.8%  -0.4%
 Minivan  $9,901  $9,876  $9,060  0.2%  9.3%
 Full-size Van  $13,807  $13,195  $13,005  4.6%  6.2%
 Compact SUV/CUV  $11,096  $10,777  $11,083  3.0%  0.1%
 Midsize SUV/CUV  $11,425  $11,031  $11,773  3.6%  -3.0%
 Full-size SUV/CUV  $13,878  $13,379  $14,085  3.7%  -1.5%
 Luxury SUV/CUV  $18,645  $18,290  $19,055  1.9%  -2.2%
 Compact Pickup  $9,407  $8,905  $9,326  5.6%  0.9%
 Full-size Pickup  $16,137  $15,707  $16,520  2.7%  -2.3%

Source: ADESA Analytical Services.

Lane watch: Truck prices stabilize

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - 

While an auction general manager in Texas shared short-term expectations for what might be happening in the lanes, the newest Black Book Market Insights report also highlighted a noteworthy development that just occurred.

Editors determined truck values stabilized last week following several weeks of volatility, while cars saw higher demand at auction.

“Sedans drop in value, but sporty cars see a seasonal increase with summer around the corner. Luxury cars and crossovers experience a larger decline,” said Anil Goyal, executive vice president of operations at Black Book.

Volume-weighted, editors indicated overall car segment values decreased by 0.27 percent last week. In comparison, values had increased on average by 0.12 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

Within cars, Black Book noticed the sporty car segment increased the most in value last week, rising by 0.18 percent.

Again volume-weighted, editors noticed overall truck segment values (including pickups, SUVs, and vans) decreased by just 0.05 percent last week, same as the average drop per week in the previous four weeks.

Among trucks, Black Book said the sub-compact crossover segment increased the most in value last week, moving 0.22 percent higher.

Turning next to what Black Book’s representatives captured at sales nationwide, one lane watcher caught up with a general manager of an auction in Texas.

“The nicer, more expensive vehicles have softened here. Our market feels like it has another month or so before we see increased volatility across the board,” the GM said.

The scene at a couple of locations revealed how the hammer isn’t falling with as much frequency as it did during the height of the spring market.

Out of Georgia: “There was an abundance of no-sales in both the rental/lease lanes as well as the dealer lanes. In addition, the less expensive older vehicles that sold well recently experienced sporadic sales.”

Out of Michigan: “Consignment is down, but anything nice sells and for good money. Retail remains good but certainly not great.”

And speaking of retail, what’s occurring in Tennessee is perhaps a reflection of dealership activity.

“Sub-compact and units under $10,000 are in demand. The higher priced vehicles are much harder to turn,” the lane watcher in the Volunteer State said.

Finally, the report out of Pennsylvania might have given another glimpse of what prices at the pump are doing to dealer buying activity at the auction.

“A dealer out of New York who typically buys trucks stated that he is purchasing more passenger cars than he can remember,” the Black Book representative said.

Lease returns, acquisitions mean opportunities for ADESA auctions

CARY, N.C.  - 

KAR Auction Services is pulling in $820 in fees per transaction at its ADESA auction locations.

However, says chief financial officer Eric Loughmiller, only half of that amount is the auction fee.

The rest? 

“That’s the value-added services we’re able to drive off of those locations,” Loughmiller said by phone shortly after the company’s latest quarterly earnings call.

“And that number’s growing — probably growing even beyond where we would have predicted it’d be five years ago,” Loughmiller said during the interview, which also included KAR chief executive Jim Hallett. “It’s just that those services are in real demand.”

Those services include things like reconditioning, transportation, dent and paint work, and key-cutting services.

They represent not only revenue opportunities in the traditional sense of how an auto auction is operated, but a means through which KAR can extend its services to new ventures.

Take, for instance, KAR’s recent purchase of mobility and fleet management software company STRATIM.

Auctions, acquisitions provide opportunity

STRATIM offers “a marketplace of suppliers” to help mobility fleet operators manage their fleets more effectively, KAR chief operating officer and chief strategy officer Don Gottwald said in a phone interview with Auto Remarketing shortly after the February purchase.

So that gives KAR opportunities on the front and back ends of the fleet process.

For instance, some of those could come as the cars are entering the mobility fleets, with things like installing various technologies on the car. And on the back end, it may be removing that technology when the car is de-fleeted and then selling the vehicle.

Other tasks that might include things like cutting keys, fixing dents, sale preparation and shipping — all of which KAR could provide to companies with mobility fleets.

But KAR is not going away from the brick-and-mortar auction fundamentals, either.

“The No. 1 thing is, we’re still going to sell cars in the lane,” Hallett said during the phone interview after company’s latest earnings. “Make no mistake about that. That’s not going away. The second thing, is really being able to expand the breadth of services that we offer.

“When you think of all the reconditioning, the paint and body, the mechanical, the dents, the transportation, the logistics … all those services not only will continue to exist for a certain segment of vehicles of the portfolio, but then we believe there’s an opportunity to expand those services,” Hallett said.

“And then we think there’s an opportunity to bring in new services that we haven’t even talked about yet,” he said. “And there will be a tie-in with STRATIM there, as well, in terms of some of the services that we’ll be able to provide.”

Hallett again emphasized that the brick-and-mortar auction isn’t going anywhere.

“Yes, digital and online will cannibalize some of the physical, but I believe there’s an opportunity to expand the market,” he said. “In expanding the market, one plus one is equaling something more than three.”

Off-lease spike drives demand

Underscoring the demand for ancillary services is the high numbers of off-lease vehicles, which are the biggest vehicle group in terms of use of these amenities, said Hallett.

And when there is as much used-car supply as there is now, sellers are having to set themselves apart from the competition.

Unlike, seven years ago, when buyer demand outweighed supply by so much that cars going through wholesale often weren’t even washed, instead just going straight through the auction to be sold, Hallett said.

“And you’d get $500 more than you got three months ago,” Loughmiller said.

Hallett added: “But where there’s a lot of off-lease cars, oversupplied market, there’s a lot of competition in the lanes. And these dealers and commercial consignors are having to make a decision: How do I differentiate my car in the lanes? Why should someone stand in my lane and bid on my cars versus stand over in my competitor’s lane?

“And oftentimes, the difference is, the amount of money that they’re willing to invest in reconditioning,” Hallett said.  

 The ancillary services can also be applied to cars that ultimately sell online, Loughmiller said, and reconditioning can actually increase likelihood of sale online

There are some services that KAR provides where the car physically goes to a location, plus other “services that we take to the car”  examples of the latter being key cuts, fixing dents and refueling vehicles.

“Bringing STRATIM into the equation here and combining it with what we do at physical auctions, it’s a pretty good strategy for how we can get to cars outside of cars that are just brought to physical auctions or sold at physical auctions … even cars that are sold online, they’re going to need these services,” Hallett said. “And we can eventually get to the online buyer and provide those services.”

May wholesale price forecast improves versus a year ago

McLEAN, Va. - 

While analysts noticed April’s wholesale price movements went in a direction not seen during that particular month in seven years, the team at J.D. Power Valuation Services is projecting the change in May prices won’t be as dramatic as seen a year ago.

According to the latest installment of Guidelines, J.D. Power Valuation Services is expecting wholesale prices for vehicles up to 8 years in age to decline by about 0.2 percent in May. That’s only a fraction of what analysts recorded in May of last year when prices decreased by 1.7 percent.

The report indicated there are a variety of environmental factors in play that could help or hinder used-vehicle sales; thus, impacting wholesale prices.

“Negative forecast factors hurting used vehicles continue to be incentives, an anticipated increase in used supply, worsening credit conditions and increasing gasoline prices,” analysts said.

“However, positive factors such as favorable labor conditions, strengthening housing prices along with long-term quality improvements will outweigh the negatives,” analysts went on to say.

April pricing recap

With prices remaining stronger than anticipated, April represented the second-highest upward move of the J.D. Power Valuation Services Seasonally Adjusted Used Vehicle Price Index recorded so far this year.

The reading climbed 1 point higher to 117.1, leaving the index 3.4 points above what J.D. Power Valuations Services posted in April of last year.

What pushed the reading was an increase of 0.2 percent in vehicle prices for units up to 8 years in age. Analysts said in Guidelines that April’s behavior was “atypical” since it was the best performance for that specific month since 2011.

“Looking back, we’ve observed the development of a trend that began in 2014,” analysts said in the report. “It seems that prices have been stronger year-over-year for the April period.

“This can be attributed toward an extended spring rebound in used-vehicle prices that we traditionally see during the first quarter of the year,” they added.

Looking at price moves at the segment level, J.D. Power Valuation Services noticed that mainstream segments performed “very well” in April with the exception of large utilities, which softened by 1.3 percent. Prices for large utilities now have dipped for four consecutive months.

What’s triggered the decline, according to Guidelines, is the steady rise in auction volume for these particular models. Analysts pegged the year-over-year volume jump in April for large utilities at 33.2 percent and the year-to-date rise at 31.4 percent.

Enjoying price increases slightly above the overall April figure were midsize cars and large pickups, which both experienced a 0.6-percent uptick, according to J.D. Power Valuation Services.

Switching to luxury vehicles, analysts pointed out the pricing bright spot stemmed from luxury compact utilities climbing by 0.7 percent. Otherwise, “luxury segments didn’t fare as well as their mainstream counterparts.”

The recap in Guidelines showed that the luxury segment sustaining the most dramatic price decline in April included luxury large cars, which dropped by 5.7 percent.

“However, it’s important to remember overall volume of this segment is extremely small,” analysts said. “In fact, it’s the smallest of all the segments we examine.

“As a result, any material decline in individual model wholesale prices is extremely amplified,” they added.

To reinforce the point, J.D. Power Valuation Services cited the April price drop-offs of the 2013 and 2014 Lincoln MKS. Auction prices for these vehicles plummeted by 26 percent and 19 percent, respectively.

For more analysis from J.D. Power Valuation Services, see the podcast below with Jonathan Banks, the company’s vice president of vehicle analysis and analytics, recorded at NADA Show 2018 earlier this year. 

 

</

Black Book: Spring market 2018 is over

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - 

Black Book has made the call. Spring market 2018 is finished.

This week’s Black Book Market Insights report included that declaration as well as reinforcement of that stance coming via what representatives spotted in the lanes nationwide.

“The spring market season is over as values show mild declines across the board. Mainstream sedans have been in demand in the used market even as sales declined for new sedans,” said Anil Goyal, executive vice president of operations at Black Book.

Volume-weighted, editors determined that overall car segment values decreased by 0.08 percent last week. In comparison, Black Book recapped that values had increased on average by 0.18 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

Likely reflecting summer’s official approach, Black Book pointed out the sporty car segment increased the most in value last week, rising by 0.38 percent.

Again volume-weighted, editors indicated overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs, and vans — also softened by 0.08 percent last week, similar to the average drop of 0.07 percent per week that Black Book recorded during the previous four weeks.

Among trucks, editors found the compact van segment increased the most in value last week, surging 0.97 percent higher.

Part of what helped Black Book editors learn the spring market wrapped up for the season included the anecdotes lane representatives collected while attending sales nationwide. The rundown began in Massachusetts.

“For the first time in many weeks, the sellers reported that their results were just OK. This is a change from the robust activity from the last several weeks,” Black Book’s representative in Massachusetts reported.

Down in Georgia, a similar situation unfolded with the lane observer saying, “The prices continue to soften here. An active buyer said that the market had stabilized and prices were no longer going up but starting to drop.”

Out West, the hammer didn’t drop as frequently, either.

“Lots of high-mileage vehicles and no-sales in the lanes today. Dealers are being much more selective,” said Black Book’s lane watcher stationed in California.

While the overall spring market might be finished for the year, Black Book also shared a pair of recaps where the wholesale space showed one last gasp for the season.

From Michigan: “Retail in our area is positive but not exceptional. There was good bidding activity this week at the auction.”

From South Carolina: “Small and midsize sedans continue to be in demand and the buyers are willing to pay up for them.”

April wholesale trends uncover depth of spring market impact

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - 

Black Book recently shared its latest analysis that shed light on exactly how much of an impact the spring market generated this year.

According to Black Book data, the average price of a used vehicle for model years 2012 through 2016 increased in value by 0.3 percent during April, fueled by a strong spring selling season for cars.

Editors indicated car values ticked up 1.3 percent during the month while trucks saw a decrease of 0.4 percent.

Black Book added that all vehicles are averaging a 12-month softening of 15.1 percent.

A total of nine vehicle segments increased in overall value during spring, according to Black Book, including five car segments. Leading the way were midsize and compact cars, which each rose 2.5 percent in April.

Vehicles in midsize car segment include the Nissan Altima, Chrysler 200, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Optima and the Hyundai Sonata. Vehicles in this segment finished April with an average price of $9,732, which settled 15.5 percent lower than a year ago.

Vehicles in the compact car segment include the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Jetta, Nissan Sentra and the Hyundai Elantra. Vehicles in this segment wrapped up April with an average price of $8,210; a figure down 13.7 percent from a year ago.

Black Book pointed out that sub-compact crossovers saw the largest boost for trucks, jumping 1.5 percent in April.

Vehicles in sub-compact crossover segment include the Buick Encore, Nissan Juke, Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V and the Jeep Renegade. Vehicles in this segment finished April with an average price of $11,652, representing a 15.6 percent drop from year-ago levels.

Editors noticed the other segments seeing increases in April included the full-size car (up 1.0 percent), compact crossover/SUV (up 0.5 percent), sub-compact car (up 0.5 percent), compact van (up 0.3 percent) and small pickup (up 0.1 percent).

Black Book also mentioned the two segments that saw the highest depreciation on the month included the full-size crossover/SUV, and midsize luxury CUV/SUV, each declining by 1.5 percent.

Vehicles in the full-size crossover/SUV segment include the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, Dodge Durango, Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon, Toyota Sequoia and the Nissan Armada.

Vehicles in the midsize luxury CUV/SUV segment include the Lexus RX 350, Acura MDX, BMW X5, Buick Enclave, Infiniti QX60, Mercedes Benz M Class and the Lincoln MKX.

“The above-average strength of the spring season was on full display during April, with a total of nine vehicle segments showing an increase in value,” said Anil Goyal, executive vice president of operations at Black Book.

“What’s impressive most in April is that five of these segments were cars, so it will be interesting to see what the remaining of the year holds for these segments as we return to more typical seasonal depreciation patterns for vehicles overall,” Goyal continued.

$105.6 billion in sales at auto auctions last year

FREDERICK, Md.  - 

Call it sales efficiency.

Though there was a slight decrease in the number of vehicles entering auto auctions last year, the members of the National Auto Auction Association actually sold more cars than they did in 2016 and at a higher price tag. 

Just over 10 million vehicles were sold at NAAA-member auctions in 2017, which was up 2.5 percent over 2016 and represented $105.6 billion in sales, according to the association’s annual survey.  

That $105.6 billion in gross value of units sold was up from $100 billion in 2016.

There were 17.32 million vehicles that entered the auction in 2017, compared to 17.74 million a year earlier. The percent sold climbed from 55.1 percent to 57.8 percent.

Average price per unit was up 3 percent at $10,544.

“The 2017 results are encouraging,” NAAA chief executive officer Frank Hackett said in a news release.

“The survey results show the strength and depth of a mature industry that has demonstrated its resiliency,” he said. “I am confident we'll continue to be a vital and growing part of our nation’s economy for years to come.”

Of the 10 million cars sold at auction, 50.3 percent were dealer consignment, with lease/fleet/repo next (43.2 percent).

OEM vehicles represented a 5.5-percent share, and 0.8 percent of the sales volume came from other sources, according to the survey.

The survey, which was conducted by Virginia-based Robert A. Casey Consulting, had a 71-percent response rate, as 244 North American NAAA members participated.

Spring market starts to wind down

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - 

With more than seven days into May already in the books, Black Book is seeing even stronger signals that the spring market might be in its closing stages for 2018.

This week’s Black Book Market Insights report highlighted how most car values finally are cooling off from the last several weeks of increasing price activity. That being said, editors still spotted a handful of car segments still showing a slight uptick in values this past week.

“The market is shifting towards neutral as spring seasonality wears off. Non-luxury segments in small crossovers and sedans showed stability last week,” said Anil Goyal, executive vice president of operations at Black Book, in the analysis.

Volume-weighted, editors determined that overall car segment values barely increased by just 0.05 percent last week. In comparison, the market values for cars had risen by 0.24 percent during the prior week.

Within cars, Black Book reiterated that all non-luxury segments performed well with values stable to slightly up.

Again volume-weighted, editors noticed that overall truck segment values (including pickups, SUVs and vans) settled nearly flat. In comparison, the market values had decreased by just 0.06 percent during the previous week.

Within trucks, Black Book found that the subcompact luxury crossover segment performed the worst, softening by 0.48 percent of $80.

Moving on to what Black Book lane watchers observed at auctions, two of the four reports coming back into headquarters originated from Florida.

One representative shared, “The financial account reps did well and were selling most everything. The dealer lanes were better than they have been in a while.”

The other watcher added, “We had a lot of no-sales on the older inventory which was a pattern shift. Trucks and SUVs are still the center of attention.”

Next door in Georgia, some similar patterns were observed.

“Prices were strong all day in the manufacturer lanes. There was a fair amount of no-sales in the dealer lanes but the units that sold brought good money,” Black Book’s representative stationed in Georgia said. “Overall, vehicles 2-years-old or older sold well while the newer ones were hit or miss depending on condition.”

Finally, the anecdote out of the Midwest might have summarized the buzz in the lanes nationwide.

 “The vehicles that sell bring good money, but there remains a shortage of clean, low-mileage units,” Black Book’s lane watcher in Indiana said.

Specialty markets update

As they do at the beginning of each month, Black Book editors recapped their latest assessments of the specialty markets. Here are their latest observations:

— Collectibles: Black Book indicated that there have been several successful collectible car auctions this spring. Editors pointed out that Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach sale, celebrating its 16th anniversary, was perhaps the most visible, as it was a four-day event and was extensively televised.

— Recreation vehicles: Black Book noted that RV values at auction, including most towable and motorized vehicle segments, decreased last month. “This is not typical for this time of year, as most dealers are scrambling to stock their lots before the first customers come in,” editors said.

— Powersports: Black Book insisted that cruisers are the “big winners this month,” as both metrics and domestic v-twins are showing solid gains as the powersports market enters its strongest portion of the year.

— Heavy-duty trucks: Editors said that wholesale prices are doing “exceptionally well,” with a small overall deprecation showing up on late models, while the older segment dropped a little more.

— Medium duty: Black Book explained that limited used supply is helping older units maintain their values slightly better than the late models. “In addition, new supply is helping to put some added pressure on late model units causing them to depreciate a bit more than they have in the past couple of months,” editors added.

Cox Automotive sees April used sales soften as wholesale prices tick higher

ATLANTA - 

Along with pinpointing what the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index did in April, Cox Automotive experts also projected how much and why used-vehicle sales softened a bit last month.

According to Cox Automotive estimates, used-vehicle sales decreased by 2 percent year-over-year in April versus the same month last year. Analysts said the dip primarily stemmed as a result of having two fewer selling days.

Cox Automotive highlighted the annualized pace of used vehicle sales is up 1 percent over last year.

“We estimate the April used SAAR to be 39.7 million, the highest level in four months,” analysts said.

Cox Automotive mentioned April new-vehicle sales decreased, sliding by 5 percent year-over-year with two fewer selling days compared to April 2017. The April SAAR came in at 17.1 million, up from last year’s 17.0 million; it is the eighth straight month of more than 17 million SAAR and the fifth-best April SAAR on record.

Analysts added that cars continue to see sharp declines as sales in April fell 21 percent compared to last year, with major car segments’ having sales declines. They pointed out light trucks outperformed cars in April and were up 5 percent year-over-year.

Cox Automotive went on to note that the combined rental, commercial and government purchases of new vehicles climbed 7 percent year-over-year in April, led by increases in commercial (up 9 percent) and rental (up 7 percent) channels.

Analysts closed the discussion by saying new-vehicle inventories came in higher than 4 million units for the second straight month, and inventories are at their highest levels since June of last year.

Wholesale-price movements

Looking now at the wholesale space, Cox Automotive found that used-vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage- and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 1.33 percent month-over-month in April. This movement brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 132.5, which was a 6.3 percent increase from a year ago and the highest level since last November.

“Looking at trends in weekly Manheim Market Report (MMR) prices, the traditional spring bounce this year started three weeks later than it did in 2016 and earlier years and peaked in April in week 15,” analysts said.

“Used-vehicle prices are now moving down but remain higher now compared to where they were at the beginning of the year than any of the last three years,” they continued.

On a year-over-year basis, Cox Automotive noticed all major market segments saw price gains in April. Compact cars and vans outperformed the overall market, climbing by 6.6 percent and 13.3 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, the latest index update showed SUV/CUVs and pickups underperformed the overall market, rising by 5.8 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively.

“Collectively, nonluxury vehicles outperformed the market, while luxury vehicles underperformed,” analysts said. “This is not unusual for the spring, as the observed bounce occurs only in nonluxury vehicles.

Also in the wholesale space, Cox Automotive determined that rental risk pricing strengthened.

Analysts found that the average price for rental risk units sold at auction in April jumped 9 percent year-over-year. Rental risk prices moved 2 percent higher compared to March.

The report mentioned average mileage for rental risk units in April (at 43,500 miles) came in 10 percent above a year ago but 3 percent lower month-over-month. 

General economic update

Cox Automotive closed its latest analysis by highlighting the continued strong economic momentum on display in the U.S.

Analysts recapped that the economy grew 2.3 percent in the first quarter, a decline from last year’s overall growth of 2.5 percent, but much better than the first quarter of last year’s “lackluster” 1.2-percent growth.

Cox Automotive said the second quarter should see growth rebound in keeping with the expected 2.8 percent to 3.0 percent likely GDP growth for 2018.

Analysts added that consumer confidence rebounded in April after declining in March. The April index level was the second-best level going back to November 2000.

Cars stay strong as spring market shows slight signs of slowing

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - 

With perhaps a sign the spring market might be in its latter stage, a handful of car segments that have continued to increase in value, according to Black Book.

The latest Black Book Market Insights report showed smaller car and sporty car segments demonstrated the strongest price performance last week.

“Broad market strength was seen last week across most car and truck segments. Luxury segments are largely sitting out the extended spring rally this year,” said Anil Goyal, executive vice president of operations at Black Book

Volume-weighted, editors determined overall car segment values increased by 0.24 percent last week. That reading remains on par with what Black Book has noticed for a month as car values had increased on average by 0.23 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

Editors pointed out that the midsize car and sporty car segments increased the most in value last week, each climbing by 0.38 percent.

Again volume-weighted, Black Book found that overall truck segment values (including pickups, SUVs, and vans) decreased by just 0.06 percent last week. In comparison, the values had decreased on average by 0.13 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

Within trucks, editors noted the compact luxury crossover/SUV and midsize luxury crossover/SUV segments decreased the most in value last week at 0.38 percent and 0.34 percent, respectively.

Turning next to what Black Book representatives noticed in the lanes, the report surfacing in Florida indicated that perhaps the spring momentum might be starting to wane.

“The dealer consigned vehicles struggled mightily with an abundance of no-sales. The market here is experiencing a post-tax season adjustment,” the lane watcher in the Sunshine State.

Meanwhile, moving into the Midwest, the auction activity seems as robust as ever.

“The retail used vehicle market remains good here, so dealers are buying at auction. Full size SUVs remain scarce,” Black Book’s representative stationed in Indiana said.

Sliding East to Pennsylvania, auction is lively, especially when certain models roll over the block.

“Dealers are having difficulty finding and purchasing enough trucks and SUVs for their lots. Because of this shortage, prices remain strong on those models,” Black Book’s personnel from the Keystone State shared.

Finally, out in Colorado, the spring market might be changing there, too.

“It is still a sellers’ market in Colorado, but the momentum has recently slowed a bit,” Black Book’s representative said.

X