Though wholesale prices were on the way down as 2015 came to a close, there are a few factors that held rates in the lanes up last year, even as used supply began to grow.
According to ADESA Analytical Services, wholesale prices in December averaged $9,763, down 1.2 percent compared to November. December’s average represented a 1-percent drop year-over-year.
And though prices are falling at auction in light of used supply, ADESA’s Tom Kontos shared in the latest edition of Kontos Kommentary how a group of factors combined to keep used prices relatively strong.
“2015 was largely a year when strong retail used-vehicle and CPO demand, benign new-vehicle incentive activity, and the embrace of upstream as well as traditional auction processes among remarketers diluted the usual negative impact of growing supply on wholesale values,” said Kontos. “Further masking that impact was the displacement of off-rental program vehicle volume that appeared in the first half of the year rather than the last quarter of 2014.”
Kontos said these off-rental vehicles are often high-dollar, late-model units, which served to push average wholesale prices upward for much of the year.
“Nevertheless, supply growth underlies the wholesale price softness seen later in the year and most evidently in December, as prices fell by upwards of one percent on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis,” he said.
On a segment level, minivans were the only segment to see significant prices increase in December, while overall, priced in the truck segments saw stronger price retention than cars and crossovers last month.
Wholesale transaction price movement varied by group. First up, wholesale prices for vehicles remarketed by manufacturers were up 1.6 percent from November, but down 3.5 percent year-over-year. Next up, prices for fleet/lease consignors were down by just 0.1 percent from November and down 0.7 percent annually.
“Within that category, off-rental risk units had modest month-over-month and year-over-year price increases, while prices for three-model-year-old vehicles, a proxy for off-lease vehicles, were down significantly both month-over-month and year-over-year,” Kontos said.
Lastly, dealer consignors saw a 2-percent drop in price versus November and a 1.2-percent decline year-over-year.
To view the latest Kontos Kommentary video, see above.