Decline in wholesale car prices could slow down in 2nd half
Wholesale vehicle prices are easing, but dealers eager to secure used inventory more affordably should take this news with a grain of salt.
In a news release around the company’s latest Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, Cox Automotive senior manager of economic and industry insights Chris Frey put some context around the 2.7% month-over-month and 7.6% year-over-year declines in wholesale prices for May.
(Those declines account for mix, mileage and seasonal adjustments).
He noted that the downward slope in used prices could become less steep this summer and that tailwinds pushing prices up are likely to continue.
“Price erosion continued in May, with another month-over-month drop in the index bringing it 0.3 points below our January result,” Frey said. “Taking a longer view, May’s year-over-year decline accelerated from April and March; however, the rate of decline might slow over the next several months as we encounter the lower prices seen at auction from May through November last year.
“Two consecutive reads in either measure do not a trend make, as used retail inventory is still below last year, and that tends to keep buyers at the auction, supporting prices,” Frey said.
The Manheim index for May was at 224.5. Along with the 7.6% overall decline, each of the major segments saw their values soften year-over-year last month.
The most pronounced dip was for luxury vehicles, whose prices fell 10.8%, according to the Cox analys. Pickups showed the slimmest decline (4.6%).
Compact cars were off 7.2%, midsize cars were off 7.9%, SUV/CUV values declined 8.0% and vans fell 7.5%, Cox said.