Despite the Black Book Used Vehicle Retention Index now falling for five straight months, the latest reading is still 1.4% higher than a year ago.
Black Book reported on Monday that the April index reading came in at 113.6, representing a 0.2% dip from the March level of 113.8.
And editors pointed out their latest index mark remains higher than last April’s figure of 112.0.
Black Book tabulated that 14 segments finished the month in positive change territory, led by premium sporty cars at a 1.4% change followed by full-size vans at 1.2%.
The other segments that saw positive change during April included:
• Compact crossovers: 1.1%
• Sporty cars: 0.8%
• Compact cars: 0.7%
• Sub-compact cars: 0.6%
• Full-size pickups: 0.5%
• Minivans: 0.5%
• Full-size crossover/SUV: 0.4%
• Full-size luxury CUV/SUV: 0.4%
• Midsize car: 0.3%
• Midsize crossover/SUV: 0.3%
• Small pickup: 0.3%
• Full-size car: 0.1%
Black Book explained the Index has reflected a late start to the spring selling season, dropping each month since November. Editors noted SUVs and luxury vehicles showed the largest declines in March with minivans, compact to midsize cars and small pickups having modest gains.
Black Book also mentioned market share changes reflect a continued shift away from cars and toward more SUVs and pickups.
“That the index has declined for five straight months and it is still slightly higher than where it was a year ago is a testament to the sheer strength in the market we saw throughout 2018,” Black Book executive vice president operations Anil Goyal said.
“Much of the 2018 activity was spurred by economic strength, resulting in significant demand for affordable used sedan values. It will be difficult to replicate that activity over the remainder of 2019.”
The Black Book Used Vehicle Retention Index is calculated using Black Book’s published wholesale average value on 2- to 6-year-old used vehicles as percent of original typically-equipped MSRP. It is weighted based on registration volume and adjusted for seasonality, vehicle age, mileage and condition.
The index dates to January 2005 when Black Book published a benchmark index value of 100.0 for the market. During 2008, the index dropped by 14.1% while during 2016, the index fell by just 6.4%.
During 2011, the index rose strongly from 113.3 to 123.0 by the end of the year as the economy picked up steam and used-vehicle values rose higher. It continued to remain relatively stable, rising slightly until May of 2014 when it hit a peak of 128.1.
To obtain a copy of the latest Black Book Wholesale Value Index, go to this website.