Wholesale Market Setting Up for Seasonal Price Rise

GAINESVILLE, Ga., and McLEAN, Va. - 

Both Black Book and NADA Used Car Guide are seeing wholesale trends that dealers regularly brace for this time of year — an uptick in vehicle prices.

Last week, the amount of vehicle prices Black Book editors adjusted upward came in at 36 percent, nearly identical to the level they reported during the same span a year earlier (34 percent).

“If the historical market is an indicator the coming weeks’ percentage of increases will be significantly higher,” Black Book said.

Meanwhile, AuctionNet data reviewed by NADA Used Car Guide showed that price moved 1.9 percent higher last month versus December of 2011. Two segments in particular fueled much of that movement as large pickup prices jumped 7.7 percent year-over-year while large SUV prices increased by 6.3 percent.

However, luxury SUV prices dropped the most on a year-over-year basis in December, sliding by 5.8 percent.

The remainder of the six vehicle segments analysts mentioned in the latest edition of Guidelines posted price movements of 2.4 percent or less.

The segments where prices moved up included compact cars (2.4 percent), midsize cars (0.9 percent) and midsize vans (1.1 percent). The segments where prices softened included midsize utilities (1.2 percent), luxury cars (0.4 percent), and compact utilities (1.2 percent).

Since the calendar turned to 2013, Black Book discovered the most consistent and lowest adjusting segment has been the entry-level cars that have declined by just 0.34 percent so far in the New Year. The compact cars segment has declined just 0.57 percent and the near-luxury level cars have a two-week total segment change averaging 0.17 percent.

Black Book went on to mention that truck segments saw a slightly larger decline this past week at 0.27 percent, which was up from 0.17 percent the previous week.

Four of the 14 truck segments Black Book tracks were more stable than the previous week with the biggest improvement being compact pickup trucks, which softened just 0.18 percent.

Editors said that prices for the other two pickup segments, midsize pickups and full-size pickups showed week-over-week improvement with smaller declines finishing at 0.29 percent for midsize models and 0.10 percent for full-size units.

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