Lane watch: Single-largest weekly wholesale-price drop in 11 months
Black Book reported wholesale values dropped 1.10% last week, the largest decrease analysts spotted during a single week in 11 months.
The movement prompted Black Book to ask, “Is this a wakeup call or just a blip in the market in this wild world of the car business?”
The price drop during the week that closed on the first Saturday of August arrived as the estimated average weekly sales rate remained at 49%.
“Even though the auction conversion rate was stable, wholesale prices dropped as sellers lowered their floors and buyers were not willing to pay any more than they had to,” Black Book said in its newest installment of Market Insights released on Tuesday.
“All the segments and vehicle ages were affected, but more affordable older models did not drop as much as the rest of the market,” Black Book continued in the report. “Retail asking prices are softening at a much lower rate, and the market is in a state of trying to find the new ‘normal’ of pricing in both wholesale and retail.”
At least in the wholesale market, prices for cars on a volume-weighted basis decreased 1.36% overall. You could say the value decline for cars accelerated since the previous week’s drop was just 0.27%.
No matter the age, wholesale prices of cars dropped by more than 1%, with units ages 0 to 2 years old sliding by 1.13% and cars ages 8 to 16 years old softening by 1.02%.
Values for all nine car segments decreased last week with compact cars leading the way at 2.12%. Black Book indicated prices for compact cars now have dropped for 11 weeks in a row with an average weekly decline of 0.67%.
Analysts mentioned prices for premium sporty cars dropped the least among cars last week at 0.59%. However, analysts pointed out it was the largest value drop for the segment since February.
Looking next at trucks, Black Book watched the weekly value decline more than double, with volume-weighted information showing a price drop going from 0.41% to 0.98%.
Older trucks didn’t depreciate quite as much as Black Book pegged the decrease for units ages 8 to 16 years old at 0.55%. Late-model trucks ages 0 to 2 years old softened by 0.97% in value, according to Black Book.
As all 13 truck segments posted price decreases last week, Black Book noticed the pace setter had a value decline of more than 2%. That was full-size crossovers, which depreciated by 2.25%.
Also of note, analysts said small pickups also sustained a large price decline last week, tumbling 1.64%. They indicated those truck values have only softened by 0.37% weekly for the past six weeks.
So, is it all a wakeup call or a blip?
“As always, the Black Book team of analysts will keep their eyes on the market, watching for developing trends and insights.”