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REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Average auction prices in April were the highest of any month so far in 2010, after they climbed following a "slight dip" in the month's second week, according to OPENLANE. The company said there was "continued strengthening of used-vehicle prices in April."

Officials noted: "Overall U.S. auction prices experienced a slight dip in the second week of April but increased thereafter, finishing at a month-average level of 2 percentage points above March. April month-average levels also represent the highest price levels of 2010 at 109 index points."

Looking at individual segments, car prices in April finished 1 percentage point ahead of their March levels after a modest upswing then a dip in the month's first two weeks.

At the beginning of April, minivan prices plunged before climbing 8 percentage points in the second week of the month. They finished the month "on par" with the prior month.

Prices for SUVs climbed throughout the month and finished 8 percentage points ahead of month-ago levels.

Truck prices finished the month static from March after declining modestly in the final three weeks of April.

As far as dealer interest, cars showed a 2-percentage-point gain and were ahead of year-ago figures by double digits.

Minivan interest was up 13 percentage points from April 2009 despite falling 7 percentage points from March.

Dealer interest in SUVs was down 10 percentage points year-over-year and 1 percentage point month-over-month.

Trucks' interest fell 32 percentage points from April 2009 and was off 4 percentage points from March.

Retail Trends

On the retail side of the market, used sales jumped 2.5 percent from April 2009 as they reached 3.2 million units. This marked a 37-percent upswing from March.

New-vehicle sales in April climbed 20 percent from the prior-year period, hitting 981,000 vehicles. This was off 8 percent from the prior month.