The National Auto Auction Association had projected that auction volume would reach 9.7 million units last year.
Turns out, it was even better than expected. And this year, volume could be the strongest it has ever been.
NAAA said in an Economic Report compiled by its economist Ira Silver that auction volume reached 9.8 million units in 2016 and should hit 10.1 million units this year.
The latter would be a record high, even though the rate-of-increase is expected to continue tapering.
The year-over-year increase in auction volume for 2015 was 6.5 percent. That fell to 5 percent in 2016 and is likely to dip to 3 percent this year.
“This year, we forecast continued growth in auction unit volume, but at a slower pace than in recent years as declines in dealer consignment will to some extent offset strong gains in commercial consignment,” Silver said in the report.
But, again, the anticipated 2017 volume would still be a record.
And one largely attributable to gains in commercial consignment. It was up 13 percent last year and is expected to grow 9 percent in 2017.
Meanwhile, dealer consignment was down 1 percent in 2016, with 2017 forecasted to show a 2-percent dip.
“The strength in new light-vehicle sales during the 2010 to 2016 period created a large number of off-lease, off-rental, and off-fleet vehicles that have, and will in the future come back to the market in the form of commercial consignment to auctions,” Silver said.
“Dealer consignment growth, which is closely timed with new sales and the related trade-ins declined slightly last year and is expected to drop by a bit more this year,” he said.
In a separate report, J.D. Power Valuation Services found that for vehicles up to 8 years in age, there were 4.57 million auction sales last year. This was an 8-percent year-over-year gain and the most since 2010, according to J.D. Power.
There were 2.71 million auction sales of late-model units (cars up to 3 years in age) which is a 12-percent increase, said the J.D. Power report.