41 Million-Plus Annual Used Sales Likely for 'Foreseeable Future'

BANDON, Ore.  - 

If estimates from CNW Research come to fruition, you can expect annual used-car sales higher than 41 million units for “the foreseeable future.”

That includes this year's projected sum of 41.25 million used-car sales, according to the Retail Automotive Summary released by the firm this week.

The full-year 2013 total, if reached, would be about a 1.8-percent increase from 2012. It would also begin what CNW believes will be a multi-year run of annual sales north of 41 million.

The firm laid its used-car sales projections through 2020 and has the used-car market hitting its longest stride three years from now.

“CNW is estimating that the used-car industry should top 41 million units into the foreseeable future with 2016 hitting a peak of 43.5 million sales,” noted CNW president Art Spinella.

“Private-party sales will continue to climb and reach 31 percent by 2020, CNW projects,” he added.

“Over the course of those years, independent dealers will steadily lose some market share even though the sales levels except for 2018 will remain above 14 million.”

As for franchised dealers, CNW’s projections have their share dipping from 37 percent in 2013 to 35.8 percent in 2017 and 2018, before bouncing back to 36.3 percent in 2019 and settling at 36 percent in 2020.

The year-by-year projections for total used sales (franchised, independent and private-party combined) are as follows:

2013 — 41.25 million
2014 — 41.5 million
2015 — 42.75 million
2016 — 43.5 million
2017 — 41.75 million
2018 — 41.25 million
2019 — 42.5 million
2020 — 42.75 million

Predictions for June

As for the current month, CNW is projecting “solid” used sales.

And although used sales for both franchised and independent dealers are expected to soften year-over-year for June, it’s important to take this with a grain of salt. Most of the decline is concentrated in one particular group, CNW indicated.

“It should be noted that the smallest used-car sellers, both franchised and independent, are taking the brunt of the decline, dragging down the overall numbers,” said Spinella.

“Large and medium-large franchised and independents are having a solid month, with sales up from 2 to 4 percent,” he continued. “Simultaneously, the hottest used-car models are selling primarily through the larger franchised dealers while older, less desirable vehicles are flooding the private-party market, specifically on Craigslist and other Internet sites.”

Overall, CNW is forecasting 4.42 million used sales for June, up 0.8 percent from the year-ago time frame. This would put year-to-date sales at 20.08 million, a 3.6-percent hike.

Franchised dealers are expected to move 1.56 million used vehicles in June, which would be off 7.6 percent year-over-year.  Independents are projected to record 1.37 million sales, a 6.9-percent drop from June 2012.

“June will be a solid used-car month with about 4.42 million units sold, but summer brings private-party sales to a peak and this month will be no exception,” Spinella explained.

CNW is calling for 1.49 million private-party sales, which would be a 21.8-percent lift over last June.  First-half casual sales are on track to reach 6.49 million, an 8.8-percent uptick.

Joe Overby can be reached at joverby@autoremarketing.com. Continue the conversation with Auto Remarketing on both LinkedIn and Twitter.

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