2 factors shaping dealer decisions in the lanes

LAWRENCVILLE, Ga. - 

Along with giving a rundown of the latest wholesale price movements, this week’s Black Book Market Insights report gave some perspective on a pair of factors shaping what dealers are buying at auction nowadays and why.

First off, editors noticed continued stabilization of prices for the majority of car and truck segments. Black Book indicated some segments such as sporty cars and sub-compact crossovers continue to see increases, even after the spring selling season.

“The used-vehicle market prices were stable last week after a good spring season this year on mainstream sedans. Sporty cars are experiencing an increase in seasonal demand,” said Anil Goyal, executive vice president of operations at Black Book.

Volume-weighted, editors indicated overall car segment values decreased by 0.09 percent last week. In comparison, the values softened on average of 0.18 percent per week during the previous two weeks.

Within the car segments, Black Book shared the mid-size car segment decreased the most in value last week, declining by 0.35 percent or $34.

Turning to volume-weighted truck data, editors found that overall truck segment values (including pickups, SUVs and vans) ticked 0.05 percent lower last week, similar to the average decrease per week spotted during the previous two weeks.

Among trucks, Black Book pointed out that the sub-compact crossover increased the most in value last week, rising by 0.14 percent or $17.

Beginning the rundown of what Black Book representatives in the lanes noticed last week, the first anecdote originated out of Indiana where an observer said, “Lots of repos, off-lease and rental units, and they all sold well.

“Escalating fuel prices do not appear to be affecting the truck market as of now,” the Indiana lane watcher added.

Black Book mentioned that in some counties in the nation, the average gasoline price is above $4 per gallon.

Editors added the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects U.S. regular gasoline retail prices to reach a summer peak of $2.97 per gallon in June, before falling to $2.86 per gallon in September.

Beyond fuel costs, another lane observer described an additional element shaping what dealers are securing at the auction.

“Buyers are becoming more cautious as they are only buying vehicles to replace a recent retail sale,” Black Book representative in Florida said.

Nearby in Georgia, it was a mix of what’s typically seen in the lanes, as well as an anomaly.

“As usual, the institutional lanes were the best as the dealer lanes started off good but quickly moved to mostly no-sales. Interestingly, the cheaper vehicles were of no interest to the buyers,” the auction watcher in Georgia recounted.

“The final anecdote surfaced out of Colorado where Black Book’s lane watcher said, “Vehicles that are 5 years old or newer are selling the best. Our market is still good.”

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