Beggs Takes Stab at Gauging Difficult December Conditions


The holiday season isn’t always joyful for Black Book when it tries to project how activity in the lanes might unfold during December.

Nevertheless, Ricky Beggs tried to ascertain what’s trending at auctions during his latest edition of “Beggs on the Used Car Market.”

Beggs noted in his video that "with all the variances in the numbers we must keep in mind that the market this time of the year can be the most unpredictable. And this year with the very limited supply of used vehicles in the market, the results might be even harder to understand.

“The recent flurry of new-car sales since the third week of November is at a level we haven’t seen for quite some time,” Beggs pointed out. “Those recent trade-ins could be filling some holes that have been filled from the auction lanes.

“Some sellers are holding out for the first of the year auctions with hopefully more aggressive bidders,” he continued. “Some buyers have decided to load up with additional inventory thinking that retail activity will be strong throughout December.”

So what is Beggs’ bottom line?

“Every player in this business will find a way, their way, to make it happen,” he responded.

Turning over to last week’s wholesale activity, Beggs acknowledged it was “quite a week” of auction activity with various reactions within the market.

“Some sellers had strong sales percentages with solid values in relation to the set floors, while others were not a successful in moving the metal, quite possibly by intended design,” Beggs shared.

Black Book determined there was enough strength in values of selling units that 30 percent of last week’s adjustments were increases. Those units that did decline for the week averaged a drop of $125.

Black Book’s average decline a week earlier was $147.

“Comments from the auction lanes definitely indicated an improvement in the market overall, with descriptive terms like ‘brisk,’ ‘buying additional inventory’ and ‘very active and upbeat,’” Beggs relayed.

Black Book editors noticed car segments continue to be the soft points in the market. Cars dropped by $68 on average last week, the largest overall drop in the past seven weeks.

Editors mentioned near luxury cars (down $84) comprised the lone segment to decline less than the prior week.

Black Book reiterated trucks continue to perform better than cars.

Beggs highlighted compact pickup trucks increased for the week as trucks overall declined only $37. This improvement was a result of 10 of the 14 truck segment types declining less than the prior week.

“The full-size SUV was an impressive $69 better than the prior week finishing with a decline of $46,” Beggs mentioned.

“By the way, don’t forget it is 4x4 season, too,” he added.

“We hope to see you at the auctions,” Beggs concluded.

Beggs’ videos can be viewed here.

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