Current retail traffic keeps wholesale prices strong


Dealers are looking for bargains in the auction lanes just like potential buyers are when they scour store websites or walk rows of inventory.

As a result, this week’s Market Insights report from Black Book detailed the continued strength currently on display in the wholesale market, with a handful of cars showing increases in early September, as well as trucks.

“The used-vehicle market remains hot as retail buyers show strong demand for affordable personal transportation, and dealers are eager to procure inventory to meet the retail demand,” said Anil Goyal, executive vice president of operations at Black Book.

Volume-weighted, editors indicated overall car segment values increased by just 0.09 percent last week. In comparison, the values had decreased at a rate of 0.08 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

Among car segments, Black Book noticed sporty car and compact car values increased the most last week, rising by 0.34 percent or $52 and 0.33 percent or $26, respectively.

Again volume-weighted, editors determined overall truck segment values (including pickups, SUVs and vans) dipped by only 0.04 percent last week. That’s less than what editors recorded during the previous four weeks when truck values softened by a rate of 0.13 percent per week.

Full-size van and full-size crossover/SUV values increased the most last week among truck segments. Those vans rose by 0.24 percent or $33, while the utilities climbed by 0.20 percent or $44.

As far as what Black Book representatives are observing in the lanes when they attend about 60 sales per week, the ongoing wholesale price strength continues to be top of mind for dealers even when metal is turning back at their stores. Here is the rundown going from East to West:

— In Massachusetts: “Dealers are clamoring for trucks but are also purchasing passenger cars to fill in the holes on their retail lots.”

— In Pennsylvania: “Another really good auction this week. The market here is really amazing for a late third-quarter market.”

— In Indiana: “Consignment is still running low here. August was a good month to be a used-vehicle dealer as retail remains strong.”

— In Michigan: “There has been a small increase in the auction inventory recently. Prices continue to be up in both the car and truck segments.”

— In California: “Dealers are expressing frustration about the prices they are having to pay for inventory.”

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