Cox Automotive released its new “Used Car Market Report & Outlook” book at the 2018 NADA Show in Las Vegas on Friday.
Previously titled the “Manheim Used Car Market Report” — the revamped 23rd edition of the book has been expanded to combine in demand automotive industry data and insights with voices from across Cox Automotive's family of brands.
Last year, the industry saw higher used-car sales across the United States compared to 2016, while new-car sales dipped slightly below recent record levels, the report says.
Used vehicle sales rose 1.8-percent in 2017, and new vehicle sales fell nearly 2-percent compared to 2016, according to Cox Automotive data.
The report forecasts that last year’s trends will continue into 2018. It estimates that 39.5 used vehicles will be sold in 2018 — up from 39.3 million in 2017. And 16.7 new vehicles will be sold, down from the17.1 million new units sold last year.
With 2.644 million certified pre-owned units sold, franchised dealers set a new record for CPO sales in 2017 — the seventh year of consecutive increases.
“The U.S. economy in 2018 is ripe for continued strength in used-vehicle sales,” Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke said in a news release. “But headwinds are growing, with the greatest risks being rising inflation, higher interest rates, and tightening credit. In this dynamic environment, a clear perspective on the trends impacting the industry is more important than ever.”
In addition to the growing industry headwinds Smoke mentions, the report explains that off-lease vehicles are a particular headwind for new-vehicle sales.
The report points to how a large number of off-lease vehicles coming back to dealers will provide growing competition for new-vehicle sales.
Leasing’s share of total sales has significantly increased post-Great Recession, climbing from 17 percent of the total market in 2010 to nearly 25 percent in 2016 and 2017, according to Cox Automotive.
Additionally, the 2018 report also discusses the development and progress of the auto technologies, services and tools which dealers increasingly rely on to remain competitive.
In the report's opening message, Cox Automotive president Sandy Schwartz said “technological advancements and consumer expectations are evolving rapidly. We're all trying to stay ahead of a change curve that is getting steeper every year – in the automotive industry and well beyond.”
The 2018 report covers a total of 10 chapters on the state of the market, used car sales, consumer profile/credit, rental, leasing, fleets, repo, dealers, retail and wholesale and auction volumes and pricing.
Along with Smoke — who oversaw the compilation of the “2018 Used Car Market Report & Outlook” — contributors include: Cox Automotive senior economist and senior director of industry insights Charlie Chesbrough; senior director of automotive relations Michelle Krebs; director of economic industry insights Mark Strand; manager of economic industry insights Zohaib Rahim and manager of economic industry insights Mirlene Jean-Simon.
For more insight from the Cox Automotive report, see future editions of AR Today.