Car strength appears in Black Book’s depreciation report


Along with releasing its latest weekly price movement update via the Black Book Market Insights report, the firm’s data also indicated the average price of a used vehicle for model years 2011 through 2015 depreciated by 0.8 percent in February.

Editors noticed cars overall produced depreciation of 0.8 percent versus trucks, which saw 0.7 percent depreciation. Black Book said all vehicles are averaging a 12-month depreciation change of 17.9 percent.

In February, editors noticed small pickups performed the best, increasing their value by 0.2 percent. Vehicles in the small pickups segment include the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier and Honda Ridgeline. Their data showed vehicles in this category finished the last month with an average segment price of $19,138.

Black Book added that the small pickup segment also managed to retain its value compared to year-ago levels the best, only depreciating 7.1 percent from the 2016 value of $20,597.

Editors continued on to highlight that two segments saw a monthly depreciation of 1.8 percent in February, the highest depreciation for the month. Those segments include premium sporty cars and midsize luxury CUV/SUV.

Premium sporty cars finished the month of February with a value of $38,039, a 19.5-percent decrease from last year’s value of $47,239. Vehicles in this segment include the BMW 6-Series, Chevrolet Corvette, Jaguar F-Type and the Lexus RC350.

Midsize luxury CUV/SUVs ended last month with an average segment value of $21,479, a 20.1-percent drop from year-ago levels ($25,869). Vehicles in this segment include the Buick Enclave, Infiniti QX60, Land Rover LR4 and the Lincoln MKX.

Editors went on to note that prestige luxury cars had the steepest decline in value in comparison to a year ago. The segment, which ended February with an average value of $37,294, saw a 25.6-percent fall in price from its year-ago value ($50,115). Vehicles in the prestige luxury car category include the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS 460, Audi A8 and the Jaguar XJ.

“Vehicle retention values have held relatively strong for the second month in a row this year, except for some luxury segments,” said Anil Goyal, senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics at Black Book.

“Consumer confidence scored above the expected rate for February, and this coupled with the tax rebate season could be having a positive influence on the retention of vehicle values since there are more sales of smaller vehicles taking place,” Goyal continued.

Weekly update

Meanwhile, the Black Book Market Insights report showed that vehicles in the sub-compact crossover, compact van, sub-compact car and full-size pickup segments retained their values best last week.

Out of all segments in both car and truck categories, editors determined prestige luxury cars showed the largest depreciation while compact vans had the strongest retention.

“Tax refund checks have begun to arrive, prompting increased interest in small cars. This has led to better retention in values and higher auction sale percentages for these vehicles,” Goyal said.

Looking at volume-weighted data, Black Book said overall car values decreased by 0.51 percent last week. This figure is higher than the average depreciation rate of 0.39 percent seen in the previous four weeks.

In car segments, editors noted prestige luxury car, luxury car and premium sporty car segments declined the most, dropping by 0.98 percent, 0.65 percent and 0.52 percent, respectively.

Again reviewing volume-weighted information, Black Book indicated overall truck values decreased by 0.31 percent last week. This reading is similar to the average depreciation rate of 0.33 percent spotted during the previous four weeks.

In truck segments, editors pointed out midsize luxury crossover/SUV and full-size luxury crossover/SUV segments declined the most, dropping by 0.56 percent and 0.55 percent, respectively.

Rounding off its latest update, Black Book also relayed the observations of its representatives stationed at auctions throughout the country. With tax-refund money evidently coming into possible buyers’ accounts, dealers responded.

From North Carolina, the story was, “very little online buying today but on-site dealers were busy. Units below $5,000 were selling quickly.” And on the opposite side of the nation in California, the scene was “good consignment here today with above normal amount of buyers.”

In between, the situation was mixed as in Tennessee lane action was, “good sale today. Smaller cars actually had a lot of attention with the number of buyers being above average.” At another sale in the Volunteer State, “lots of lookers here today with clean compact cars in demand.”

Down in Georgia, the action unfolded this way: “Nice sunny day here with a normal amount of consignment but a bit low on buyers.”

And finally up in Washington, Black Book’s lane watcher said, “Prices in this location still seem high on most pickups and SUVs.” 

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