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REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Stable prices were, once again, the norm at auctions during March, according to OPENLANE, which said its overall monthly indices saw a 2-percent month-over-month increase.

For most of March, the OPENLANE U.S. Market Index hovered at 108 — climbing one week to 109 — compared with its February level of 106. 

Looking at price trends, OPENLANE said cars and SUVs moved forward in March. However, minivans and trucks were down modestly.

Specifically, car prices climbed narrowly during the first three weeks of the month, eventually finishing 3 percentage points ahead of the prior month.

Prices SUVs, meanwhile, wrapped up the month 5 percentage points greater than their February level.

Trucks, which OPENLANE said was the most volatile segment, saw their prices drop 3 percentage points from February.

Minivan prices started the month with a modest upswing in the first two weeks before declining the rest of the month. Compared to February, minivan prices were down 2 percentage points.

Continuing on, OPENLANE noted that dealers showed greater interest in cars during March than they did in February, but were less interested in minivans and SUVs.

In fact there, was a 3-percentage point increase in dealer interest in cars compared to February, and a 9-percentage point upswing from March 2009.

Meanwhile, minivans saw a 5 percentage point month-over-month decrease in dealer interest. Compared to March 2009, however, it was up 19 percentage points.

Dealer interest in SUVs fell 5 percentage points from February and was down 13 percentage points year-over-year.

Next up, trucks saw a 16 percentage point dip in dealer interest versus March 2009, but it remained stable from the month-ago level.

Retail Trends 

On the retail side of the market, used sales jumped to 2.39 million units sold, a 6-percent year-over-year upswing and ahead of the 5-percent gain that was "widely expected."

There were 1.07 million new vehicles sold, a 24-percent hike from March 2009, but slightly less than what was projected.

On a month-over-month basis, both new and used sales were stronger than either January and February totals.