Summer might not officially arrive for another six weeks, but Black Book identified a potential new trend that signals that the end of the spring market may be around the corner.
According to this week’s Black Book Market Insights report released on Wednesday, analysts noticed that many car segments saw weakening retention, which is a reversal of the previous several weeks.
Volume-weighted, Black Book indicated that overall car values decreased by 0.21 percent last week. This is slightly higher than the average depreciation rate of 0.13 percent seen in the previous four weeks.
Analysts mentioned compact car, sub-compact car, prestige luxury car and luxury car segments performed the worst, changing by -0.35 percent, -0.31 percent, -0.28 percent and -0.24 percent, respectively.
“Compact Cars experienced the largest decline, while compact crossover/SUVs showed the biggest lift in values as supplies on small cars remains high, while demand for small crossovers continues to be strong,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics.
On the truck side, Black Book determined that truck values increased by 0.05 percent last week when looking at the volume-weighted data. Analysts pointed out the latest reading is much better than the average change of -0.12 percent seen in the previous four weeks.
As Goyal referenced, compact crossover/SUV and minivan segments performed the best, ticking up by 0.36 percent and 0.25 percent, respectively.
When Black Book personnel mingled with dealers in the lanes last week, representatives gathered a variety of perspectives, including varying ones from the same state.
One Pennsylvania dealer said, “Consignment and attendance were both down this week but still a decent sale thanks to the Internet buyers.” Meanwhile, another operator in the Keystone State noted, “Heavy demand for used vehicles in this area with a small sale today and good units selling quickly.”
Down South, a dealer in Florida said, “Good sale today with really good attendance. Buyers looking for good history and sharp units.”
And up North, a dealer in Michigan shared a comment that coincided with Black Blook’s latest data when the operator mentioned, “Bidding remains active on both cars and trucks at this location. Trucks remain strong with very little dip in prices.”
Finally out West, a dealer in California shared, “SUVs, 4x4 trucks and high-end vehicles were in demand at today’s auction.”
Black Book’s specialty markets report
Along with sharing the latest Black Book Market Insights report, analysts also touched on the specialty markets this week. Here is the rundown:
• Collectible cars: Black Book said it has been seeing a pretty large uptick in late-model luxury vehicles showing up at collectible car auctions recently. Although analysts indicated this isn’t really a new concept (many of the less desirable auction time slots have been filled in with these kinds of cars for years), what is different now is the amount that they’re seeing and the prominence that these vehicles, such as the R-230 (2001-2012) Mercedes Benz SL models, are receiving.
• Recreational vehicles: As we enter the last part of spring and the first part of summer, Black Book determined that values of RVs sold at wholesale auction have started to level off. The firm said this development is not surprising for this time of year, as most dealers have been buying inventory for the past several months in order to be fully stocked when the first wave of shoppers were lured into their stores by the nicer weather.
• Powersports: After last month’s solid, though modest, gains for most of the segments, things are more of a “mixed bag” this month, according to Black Book. Prices are generally up for the more recent models, while many of the older units have declined a bit, bringing down the averages.
• Heavy-duty trucks: Analysts noticed that depreciation for the past three months has been very consistent, but there were signs at the very end of April that auction values for the over the road and regional heavy duty trucks may be starting to drop more heavily. They added that the constructional/vocational segment have showed no signs of this increasing depreciation.
• Medium duty trucks: Black Book continues to see a stable rate of decline in the medium duty truck wholesale market. The 2005-2012 model years came down, on average, $109 or 0.6 percent. In March, that average decline for this group was $114 or 0.6 percent. The 2013 and 2014 model years had similar declines. The average amount of decline was $346 or 0.8 percent for April, and in March, that average decline was $335 or 0.8 percent.