| -

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Though the atmosphere in the auction lanes was "not as aggressive" as it had been previously, the used-vehicle market continued to show strength this past week, and the vehicle types showing the most consistent upward price movement were domestic car segments, according to Black Book's Ricky Beggs.

Specifically, Beggs — managing editor at Black Book — noted that there were more than 3,300 vehicles whose values were adjusted. A little bit more than 71 percent of the changes were positive.

The average increase was $135, according to Beggs.

"As we stood on the auction lanes, we noted that the mood was not as aggressive as the last few weeks. The final bid prices continue to reflect the need for used inventory for the retail lots for almost all segment types," he noted during the latest "Beggs on the Used Car Market" report. "The most consistent vehicles in increases were all types of domestic cars, from full-size cars to subcompact cars."

Car segments, whose prices were up an average of $6, climbed for the third straight week, while trucks — showing an average gain of $9 — moved forward for the seventh straight time.

"With new car sales results just released for the month of March, we are seeing a significant increase year-over-year of 24 percent, partly driven by a recent bump in incentives by several manufacturers. These new car sales will undoubtedly add a few trade-ins to the used market," Beggs shared. 

He later added: "Spring has finally arrived, reports of increased retail activity exist, and the used market continues at almost unbelievable levels."

Continuing on, Beggs also noted that he often fields questions regarding the state of the used market for the remainder of 2010.

He projects that the market will likely remain "strong," as the economy remains challenged, unemployment stands at 9.7 percent, fuel costs go up and down and vehicle supply remains scarce.

"The supply of end of term lease contracts will gradually decline between now and the middle of 2011," Beggs stated. "This should offset the slight increase of trade-ins from improved new car sales growth, thus a continued limited supply of used vehicles in the market."

Finally, Beggs touched on some information regarding Black Book's used guides, which will include the 2010 model-year used units in less than a month.

"With less than a month until the 2010 used models will be included in the printed Black Book used guides, the electronic, Internet suite and handheld subscribers to the Black Book values are already receiving many market based used (values) for the 2010 models," he stated.

"In the last few weeks, well over three dozen 2010 models have been priced within the database. If you can't wait another month, give us a call today and we can get you set up with the electronic solution of your choice," Beggs added.