Black Book pinpoints the wholesale segment to watch


Black Book executive vice president of operations Anil Goyal suggested that dealers watch one particular vehicle segment closely as editors continued to see stability in the wholesale market.

“The used-car market has remained relatively stable overall,” Goyal said in this week’s Black Book Market Insights report. “However, recognizing consistent weekly trends may keep you ahead of the game. Keep an eye on luxury segments.”

Volume-weighted, Black Book reported that overall car segment values decreased by 0.3 percent last week, matching the average decrease for the past five weeks.

Among car segments, editors determined near-luxury cars had the steepest depreciation rate at 0.46 percent or $73.

Again volume-weighted, Black Book indicated that overall truck segment values (including pickups, SUVs and vans) softened by 0.25 percent last week; a bit more than the average of 0.20 percent recorded during the previous four weeks.

Within truck segments, midsize and full-size luxury crossover/SUVs decreased the most last week, sliding by 1.13 percent or $236 and 0.91 percent or $302, respectively.

Meanwhile, the anecdotes Black Book collected from its representatives stationed at nearly 60 sales showed a wide array of activities happening in the lanes. Two of the more informative stories surfaced in the Midwest.

—From Indiana: “Consignment was down, so most everything sold well. New cars have slowed, so dealers are concentrating more on the used side of their business.”

—From Michigan: “The market has shown some softening the last few weeks as high mileage and/or poor condition vehicles have drawn fewer and fewer bids.”

Up in Massachusetts, Black Book’s lane watcher also noticed it was difficult for the hammer to drop on rougher units, relaying, “The market was a little softer this week regarding sold prices. The older vehicles were definitely a challenge.”

Moving South, a recap out of Georgia detailed an upbeat scene as the representative said, “The highline sale was better than expected for a June sale. The values on the sold units were appropriate for the vehicles condition.”

Finally out West, dealers evidently aren’t rolling the dice in the lanes as Black Book’s observer in Nevada stated, “A typical summer market here in Las Vegas as selective mid-size and mid-range valued vehicles prevailed.”

Update on specialty markets

As they do at the beginning of each month, Black Book editors shared their observations of what’s happening in the specialty markets. Here are their thoughts:

—Collectibles: To paraphrase Mark Twain, editors said, “The reports of the demise of the classic American muscle car have been greatly exaggerated. Although muscle cars’ values declined for about a year or so beginning in the summer of 2016, they have since rebounded and are on a yearlong winning streak.”

—Recreational Vehicles: Black Book reported the average selling price of motorized units at auction last month jumped by nearly 10 percent, which equates to roughly $4,000.  

—Powersports: Editors recapped the Powersports market has reached its traditional high point for wholesale values this month, and prices reflect that for most segments.

—Heavy Duty: During June, Black Book noticed heavy duty auction activity surged with more buyers and trucks, while the mileage on the trucks continues to increase and the wholesale values continue to decline.

—Medium-Duty: In June, editors determined that older units (from model year 2007 through 2014) dropped by an overall weighted average of $70 or 0.4 percent, which is $47 less than the adjustment they saw in May. “We did not see too much movement in the older units at auction from Class 3 through Class 6 in June,” editors said.

Today's top headlines