With the last day of August coming as part of Labor Day weekend, CNW Research tabulated that the used-vehicle sales figure for the month jumped 5.6 percent year-over-year.
Combining sales at franchised and independent dealerships as well as private-party transactions, CNW found August sales came in at 4.1 million units, up from the 3.9 million vehicles that the industry generated during the same month last year.
Monthly used-vehicles sales now have topped the 4-million mark for four months in a row. According to CNW’s data, a streak that long hasn’t been seen since 2007 when the span from May through September surpassed that mark. That streak also included the sales figure of 4.76 million recorded in June 2007, a level that hasn’t been topped in nearly eight years.
Getting back to August’s data, CNW determined sales for the three major channels settled as follows:
—Franchised dealer sales increased 4.47 percent to 1.55 million
—Independent store sales increased 4.96 percent to 1.39 million
—Private-party transactions rose 7.8 percent to 1.14 million
Looking at transaction prices, CNW found mixed results for August.
At franchised stores, transaction prices rose to $13,146, climbing 3.9 percent from $12,656 a year ago. Meanwhile at independent dealerships, transaction prices dipped a bit last month, ticking down 0.23 percent to $7,070 from $7,086.
Prices for private-party transactions crept up 1.03 percent to $7,069 compared to $6,998 a year ago.
“Overall, transaction prices of all three channels combined was $9,371, up 1.93 percent from last year’s $9,193, bringing the total value of the used market in August to $38.257 billion, up 7.59 percent,” CNW president Art Spinella said.
What kinds of used vehicles did customers purchase last month? CNW found that passenger cars as a share of total sales rose 12.6 percent while trucks slid 2.04 percent. The firm noticed sales of SUVs tumbled even more, falling off 16.35 percent.
More buyers needed to sign a financing contract to get the deal done last month. CNW indicated that the number of used vehicles financed in August climbed 16.55 percent year-over-year, increasing to 68.98 percent of total used sales.
How did potential buyers end up at the store? Spinella shed some light on that sales element, too.
“Newspapers — both print and electronic — slipped nearly 8 percent as a driving force to getting people into a dealership while the Internet rose 130 percent,” he said.
“The search for a used vehicle fell from 4.1 weeks in August last year to 2.9 weeks in August of this year,” Spinella added.
Finally, CNW pointed out one other metric from August’s sales data. Spinella mentioned that the share of used-vehicle sales that were domestic automaker products slipped to 58.2 percent from last year’s level of 59.6 percent. Meanwhile, he said the share for Asian OEMs rose to 35.8 percent in August from 31.3 percent a year ago.