Used-car sales for March likely climbed just under 4 percent year-over-year, according to CNW Research, which also noticed that both used supply and retail prices were falling during the month.
In its latest Retail Automotive Summary, CNW predicted March used-car sales of 3.12 million units when combining projected figures from franchised and independent dealers with private-party transactions.
This sum would be a 3.8-percent year-over-year increase and put the first-quarter used-car sales tally at 7.51 million units, a 0.9-percent gain.
Franchised dealers are expected to have sold 1.15 million used units in March, up 5.8 percent from a year ago. Indepedents likely moved 1.09 million used cars for a 13.5-percent gain. CNW was forecasting an 8.3-percent decline in private-party sales, which were pegged at 880,996 units for the month.
As for Q1 results, franchised dealers likely sold 2.73 million used units (up 2.4 percent) and independents were at 2.49 million units (up 4.4 percent), with private-party sales of 2.29 million (down 4.6 percent).
Moving along, CNW also noted that floor traffic dropped during March. Art Spinella, company president, explained in the report the relationship that trend has had with used supply.
“Floor traffic at used-car outlets is off 4 percent, but those who are still in the market and making those showroom visits are buying more often, boosting the overall sales numbers,” he noted. “The result is that days’ supply of used vehicles actually slid 6.3 percent as inventory was picked over in some parts of the country and a ready source of the hot or most popular models was unavailable.”
Delving into pricing trends, franchised dealers’ asking prices were expected to be down 3.47 percent year-over-year in March, with transaction prices down 1.49 percent. As for independent dealers, their asking prices were predicted to fall 4.17 percent from March 2013 with transaction prices down 1.56 percent.
“On the positive side, both channels had positive percentages for share of asking price they received,” Spinella noted.
More specifically, for franchised dealers that was 96.05 percent (up from 94.12 percent in March 2013); for independents, it was 96.37 percent (up from 93.81 percent).