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MENLO PARK, Calif. — A slight drop in Canada's wholesale prices during the early part of December evolved into the sharpest decline in two years, according to the latest OPENLANE Market Index Report.

The December index reading finished at 111, a 15-point plunge from the figure calculated for November. The swing also surpassed the drop OPENLANE spotted between December 2008 and January 2009. That's when the index went from 110 to 103.

As a result of the steep downturn of the index, company officials also noticed softening prices in each of four vehicle segments.

Truck prices changed the least, moving 4 percentage points downward from November to December.

SUV prices initially were steady through the middle of December, but then ended the month 11 percentage points lower than the previous one.

A steady decline for minivans meant that the segment slipped a total 14 percentage points.

The greatest drop was among cars. OPENLANE explained how this segment reflected the month's trend of slightly dropping initially then falling greatly just before month's end. The total change was a downturn of 21 percentage points.

Moving on to a discussion of dealer interest, most segments saw an uptick in December with only one dropping.

Possibly reflecting its downturn in price, dealer interest for cars slipped 12 percentage points in December as compared to the previous month. However, car interest concluded 2009 a whopping 51 percentage points higher than the close of the previous year.

Meanwhile, interest in minivans edged slightly higher during December, 3 percentage points to be exact. Although when it was compared to December of 2008, that figure was 7 percentage points lower.

For SUVs, the dealer interest level gained 9 percentage points. It helped the segment finished at the exact same level as the one recorded to close 2008.

Finally, dealer interest in trucks went up slightly, 5 percentage points. However, the interest level compared to the end of 2008 dropped an astounding 62 percentage points.