Black Book highlighted activity in the lanes and dealership showrooms is on the upswing as the spring market continues to blossom.
This week’s Market Insights report detailed not only the latest price movements, but also anecdotes from Black Book’s representatives at sales nationwide that indicated dealers are in need of inventory because of upticks in buyer demand.
“Auto auctions are seeing high-sales conversion rates with active buyers,” Black Book executive vice president of operations Anil Goyal said.
“Spring market is in full swing, and affordable cars have the strongest demand,” Goyal continued in the latest report. “Subcompact cars led the market last week with the highest lift in valuation.”
Volume weighted, editors determined that overall car segment values increased by 0.17 percent last week. In comparison, Black Book reported car values on average softened by 0.25 percent during the previous four weeks.
Editors pointed out that the mainstream cars and sporty car segments showed a strong lift in values with those subcompact cars leading the way with a gain of 0.57 percent.
Again volume weighted, Black Book determined overall truck segment volume (including pickups, SUVs and vans) edged down just 0.07 percent last week. That level was just a fraction of the four-week average, which was a dip of 0.36 percent.
In the truck segment, editors said minivans showed the most lift in values, rising by 0.55 percent, while luxury SUVs showed the most declines with the full-size category dropping by 0.57 percent.
Turning to those stories from last week’s sales, Black Book offered this collection from its lane observers:
— From Michigan: “The market remains positive. Dealers are reporting a more active retail market, which has pushed more buyers and bidding at the auction.”
— From Nevada: “Several dealers stated that tax refunds are starting to flow into the market, which is welcome news.”
— From Massachusetts: “Everyone seemed happy as retail is gaining steam, especially in the used market. This was the best sale this year.”
— From Maryland: “One of the best sales I have ever witnessed. Out of the 95 vehicles consigned in the lane, only two failed to sell, and they all brought good money.”
— From Georgia: “The lower end of the market is being driven up by buyers willing to pay over market value for specific models. Also, the sport cars and convertibles are getting hot.”
Update on the specialty market
As they do at the beginning of each month, editors also relayed their updates from the specialty market. Here is the rundown from Black Book:
— Collectibles: Editors indicated the collectible car world has gotten off to a good start this year. Black Book reported the first two months of the year generated more than $500 million in sales, and the auctions held in association with the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance added another $80 million.
— Recreational vehicles: Now that spring is here, Black Book highlighted that dealers are seeing an increase in floor traffic on their lots and strong interest at shows. “We have noted an uptick in volume for the second month in a row at the wholesale auctions as dealers continue to fill out their inventories,” editors said.
— Powersports: Black Book determined entry-level, affordable and mid-range units lead the way as the powersports market enters spring. “Warmer weather has brought most segments of the market significant increases in value, which is a welcome development as the retail selling season is upon us,” editors noted.
— Heavy duty: As more over the road trucks dropped in wholesale value, Black Book noticed a few others held their own while a couple actually went up.
— Medium duty: Editors closed by mentioning auction prices continue a downward trend as demand slows and new and used inventory increases.