About the time Memorial Day rolls around, it seems prices for subcompact cars take a major tumble. Black Book now has seen weekly depreciation for these gas sippers drop by close to 1 percent or more at this point on the calendar for three years in a row.
Last week — which was week No. 21 on Black Book’s wholesale market calendar — subcompacts posted the steepest weekly depreciation at 1.09 percent. A year ago at this juncture, the decline was 0.99 percent, and in 2014, the decrease was event sharper at 1.19 percent.
Elsewhere in the latest edition of Black Book Market Insights, car segments overall saw lighter depreciation than trucks. “Though marginal, the overall truck segment declined more than the car segment for the first time in eight weeks,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics.
As Goyal indicated, the difference was marginal as volume-weighted, overall car values decreased 0.23 percent last week. The same volume-weighted look at truck prices turned up a 0.27-percent softening.
Like subcompact cars, the subcompact crossover segment experienced some significant depreciation last week as prices softened by 0.88 percent. However, the subcompact luxury crossover segment was the lone truck segment to increase in value at 0.71 percent.
Also producing slight upticks in prices were full-size cars (up 0.03 percent) and sporty cars (up 0.16 percent).
Meanwhile in the lanes, dealers shared varied assessments of wholesale activity with Black Book’s representatives. An operator in Florida noticed what might have been the busiest scene, noting, “All lanes were very active today with buyers saying they need cars and are willing to pay for them.”
Up in Pennsylvania, a similar scene unfolded as a dealer mentioned, “Demand in this area seems to be good for both new and used.”
And in Michigan, a sweet spot for used car managers kept the hammer sounding as a dealer noticed, “4- and 5-year-old units are doing very well in this auction location.”
On the opposite side of the country, a dealer in Washington said, “The market was a little softer again this week with 4WD trucks and SUVs still in demand.”
Finally, a dealer in Nevada summed up the week by saying, “The trend here today seemed to be improved optimism about the market. Sales were good in almost all segments.”