Car values push up Black Book’s monthly index


While experts are seeing a softening of consumer interest in new cars, Black Book is noticing the values for traditional two-door and four-door vehicles are keeping wholesale prices stronger than what’s typically witnessed during the summer.

More evidence of current trends arrived on Monday through Black Book, which released its latest Used Vehicle Retention Index.

The new reading represented an 0.5-percent increase in July as the index registered at 113.9, up from 113.3 in June. Editors indicated the index has ticked up by 0.7 percent during the past 12 months.

Editors reiterated that their 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.

Leading the July index increase was the subcompact car segment with a 1-percent climb over the prior month. Editors pointed out that values for the sporty car, premium sporty car, compact car, midsize car and full-size car segments all had gains of at least 0.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Black Book spotted declines for full-size pickups and full-size luxury SUVs.

“The Black Book Index strength over the last year is a clear reflection that there is strong demand for many segments of used vehicles — particularly for cars,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s executive vice president of operations who is among the experts coming to Used Car Week, which runs from Nov. 12-16 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“While we are forecasting typical seasonal depreciation pattern through the remainder of the year, dealers and remarketers should continue to see increasing sales volume on used vehicles, driven by continued employment growth and high consumer confidence,” Goyal added.

The index dates back to January 2005, where Black Book published a benchmark index value of 100.0 for the market. During 2008, the index dropped by 14.1 percent while during 2016, the index fell by just 6.4 percent.

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.

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