| -

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — After a bit of softness to begin the year, auction prices finally started to gain some traction in the third week of 2010, according to Black Book's Ricky Beggs, who said a quarter of the value adjustments made in the past week were positive.

"The car, light duty truck and SUV markets have … shown us an improved movement in activity, and now in the values, as during the third week of the year some are beginning to move up," explained Beggs, Black Book's vice president and managing editor, during the "Beggs on the Used Car Market" video report.

"This past week 25 percent of the vehicles whose values were changed were increases in value at a level of almost $150," he continued. "Compared to the previous week ending Jan. 15, when 15 percent of the adjustments were increases at just over $130."

Breaking it down, the values in each of the 10 car segments which Black Book examines showed decreases. The average drop was $76, with prestige luxury cars having the heaviest decline at $143.

On the truck side, 12 of the 14 segments that Black Book tracks saw their values decline. The average dip was $29.

Some, however, were a bit more promising, as full-size pickup prices climbed $6 and values of full-size passenger vans were static, Beggs pointed out.

Midsize crossovers, though, showed the steepest decline, as their values were off $97.

"As a comparison, for this same week last January 2009, the truck market was climbing the hill with an average increase of $111 and the car market still soft at a (negative) $41 change for the week," Beggs shared. "Overall, the average adjustment for all segments was the smallest in the past five weeks, with the previous low mark being way back for the week ending Oct. 16, 2009," he continued.

Beggs went on to emphasize that dealers still need more units for their inventory, in light of the lack of trade-in supply's impact on used inventory.

"With the most recent announcement of increases in unemployment claims, there are still concerns regarding how active the new car retail market and sales will be," he noted. "So there are still concerns regarding limited trade-ins and thus the used car availability."

Moving on, Beggs also examined some aspects of the specialty vehicle market.

Beginning with the medium- and heavy-duty truck and commercial trailer market, he noticed some positive change.

"There was a lot of interest and bidding with most medium duty units being up in value compared to last month," Beggs stated. "This is a nice change as we had been in a market with excess volume of these units with lower demand, due to struggles in the construction industry."

Offering his analysis of the motorcycle and powersports market, Beggs said it was "more stable than active" to begin January before quickly changing.

"The motorcycle and powersports market at the beginning of the month was more stable than active. Then for the last two weeks, the need for various units from ATVs, cruisers, dirt bikes and even a few sport bikes, increased tremendously, almost overnight, pushing the values higher than expected," Beggs shared.

"The market adjustments are already in the system and on the way to subscribers of the Black Book Official Motorcycle and Powersports Value Guide in print, handheld applications, electronic desktop applications and various data files," he added.

Finally, Beggs talked about the collector car auctions going on in Scottsdale, Ariz., where Black Book was in attendance. 

Offering his commentary on the collectible side of the market, he noted: "Market values ended the week pretty consistent and might best be described as more normal than in the past few years. We will go over the auction results with a fine-tooth comb and report the latest market values in the next edition of the Black Book CPI Collectible Vehicle Value Guide."