| -

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Auction values were softer than expected during February, and the ADESA Canada Used Vehicle Price Index fell sequentially for the fifth consecutive month.

Resale prices, again, saw a downward impact from the glut of new and used inventory at dealerships, as a number of factors hindered dealers' ability to move units.

Specifically, ADESA's data — powered by ALG Canada — indicates that the index during February was 0.5 points softer than January on a seasonally adjusted basis.

"Auction values experienced a decline between January and February, and seasonally we would expect to see an improvement," officials shared.

"Another consecutive monthly decline in resale prices can be attributed to high new- and used-vehicle inventory on dealer lots, which they are finding difficult to offload due to both the strengthening of the Canadian dollar (driving consumers to the U.S.) and the diminishing purchasing power of the Canadian consumer (driven by increases in the average debt load of the Canadian consumer)," they added.

Moreover, though there was a dip in Canadian unemployment (down to 8.3 percent), officials said it "still remains high," thus not relieving much of the weight on consumers.

"CY2010 holds for many OEMs a year of heightened levels of off-lease vehicles, which will continue to drive home the necessity and value for out-of-the-box thinking when remarketing off-lease vehicles," executives noted.

Continuing on to examine individual vehicle categories, there was decreases across the board, as all segments softened in February, with midsize cars (down 6 percent) showing the heaviest drop-off.

Midsize SUVs had the second highest dip (down 3.8 percent), while mid-compact cars were off 2.6 percent and compact SUV prices fell 2 percent.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, full-size pickup saw their prices decline the least, as they fell 1.2 percent. Meanwhile, the drop in minivan prices (1.7 percent) was the second-lowest.