Perhaps not to the surprise level of a woman being given an engagement ring on Valentine’s Day, but some wholesale market observers might slightly raise their collective eyebrow about current car prices.
Based on data generated during the early stages of the spring selling season, Black Book noticed that cars holding retention better than trucks.
According to this week’s Black Book Market Insights report, volume-weighted data showed overall car segment values decreased by just 0.20 percent, much better than the average weekly decrease of 0.58 percent in values over the previous four weeks.
Editors pointed out that the compact car segment performed the best among all car segments, with values holding still from a week earlier.
Again looking at volume-weighted information, Black Book determined overall truck segment values (including pickups, SUVs, and vans) decreased by 0.35 percent last week, slightly better than the average weekly decrease of 0.46 percent in values over the previous four weeks.
Editors mentioned the full-size crossover/SUV and full-size luxury crossover/SUV segments performed the best among all the truck segments.
“Market performance is the best so far this year with improving sales rates at auto auctions and tax-season vehicles fetching good prices,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s executive vice president of operations.
And speaking of sales rates, Black Book’s representative watching activity from the lanes of an auction in New York collected the observations of the operation’s general manager, who mentioned that trend, too.
“Our commercial accounts are selling at a high percentage and the volumes continue to be elevated,” the general manager told Black Book.
“Dealer consignment is the area that we continue to work on as our volumes have been dropping for quite a while. Overall we are experiencing sales in the 55-percent sold range,” the GM added.
Perhaps reinforcing the price metrics for cars, Black Book’s representative stationed in the Southeast shared anecdotes that could provide dealers more insight into what’s happening.
Out of Georgia, the recap was, “It could be a by-product of tax season, but the market is picking up on midsize cars. Overall, buyers are being selective and offering very low starting bids.”
And in Florida, the representative noted, “Rentals and off-lease vehicles sold well as did the clean older cars.”
Out West, the lanes are busy, too, as this anecdote from Colorado describes. “The market is much better than recent weeks. Trucks are performing well and the dealers are in a buying mood,” Black Book’s representative said.
The not-so-upbeat report collected by Black Book originated in Pennsylvania. The lane watcher said, “Retail has not been good for the last couple of months. It seems like this downturn is a result of escalating new-car prices along with the adverse weather conditions we have experienced.”