| -

FREDERICK, Md. — The National Auto Auction Association put some concrete numbers behind what dealers have been seeing for a while — shrinking wholesale volumes and rising vehicle prices.

NAAA noted on Monday that year-to-date auction volume is off by 10.3 percent compared to the same time frame last year. The association broke down the AuctionNet volume data by region, sales type and vehicle segment, and each category had a negative decline.

Looking at volume by region, NAAA found that that the steepest volume decline was in its North Central Region, which includes states such as Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio and Minnesota. The year-to-date drop there came in at 14.9 percent.

The other regional declines included a 12.3-percent slip in the Southeast, a 9.6-percent drop in the Far West, a 7.6-percent decrease in the Southwest and a 6.5-percent dip in the Northeast.

When looking at volume changes by sales type, NAAA noticed only one year-to-date increase. That came among dealers, a rise of 4.5 percent.

The association reported fleet/lease volume decline of 13.6 percent and a repossession volume drop of 14.9 percent. The decrease in manufacturer/factory volume was even sharper. That year-to-date percentage drop is a whopping 41.8 percent.

Analyzing volume change by segment, the smallest decline is among CUVs at 4.3 percent. NAAA noted the other drops for passenger cars at 6.2 percent, pickups at 11.9 percent, SUVs at 17.5 percent and vans at 24.5 percent.

For weary dealers, the NAAA review of year-to-date prices changes as compared to 2009 wasn't so favorable, either.

The overall price increase was recorded at 7.3 percent. NAAA pointed out that only the price jump in the fourth quarter of 2009 — which was 10.2 percent — was higher.

Prices climbed most in the Southeast, according to the association. There, they've moved up 9.4 percent. Other regional gains include an 8.2-percent increase in the North Central, a 6.9-percent jump in the Southwest, a 6.5-percent climb in the Northeast and a 5.1-percent move up in the Far West.

Year-to-date prices have dropped only in one sales category. NAAA indicated that repossessions are off only slightly at 1 percent. The other three categories crept up by double-digits, with manufacturer/factory leading the way at 16.6 percent followed by dealer at 15.4 percent and fleet/lease at 11.6 percent.

While CUVs had the smallest year-to-date volume decrease, NAAA spotted that the segment price has spiked the most at 11.2 percent. The other four vehicle segments have risen, too. After CUVs are gains for pickups at 9.5 percent, followed closely by SUVs at 9.1 percent. Elsewhere, NAAA said van prices are up 5.9 percent and passenger car prices are 4.6 percent higher.