Wholesale prices prove used cars still appeal in a utility-driven retail arena


Black Book explained why used-car managers should not get frustrated when they see new utility vehicles frequently rolling over the curb on the new side of their dealerships. Turns out, those cars lined up in used inventory are a pretty valuable asset nowadays.

This week’s Market Insights report from Black Book illustrated the continued support of wholesale prices with cars demonstrating greater overall strength than trucks despite America’s appetite for trucks and SUVs.

“Another banner week for used-vehicle values. While consumers prefer SUVs to cars in the new market, cars are in strong demand as the more affordable option in the used market,” said Anil Goyal, executive vice president of operations at Black Book, who also is among the experts on tap to be a part of Used Car Week 2018 that begins on Nov. 12 at the Westin Keirland Resort and Span in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Volume-weighted, Black Book indicated that overall car segment values decreased by just 0.06 percent last week. That’s just a fraction of the comparison as editors mentioned values had decreased at a rate of 0.15 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

Among car segments, Black Book reported full-size car values increased by 0.22 percent or $25 last week. The most noticeable car decline involved subcompacts, which saw prices soften by 0.35 percent or $21.

Again reviewing volume-weighted information, editors noticed that overall truck segment values (including pickups, SUVs, and vans) dipped by only 0.16 percent last week. That’s on par with what Black Book reported during the previous month when the rate came in at 0.15 percent per week.

Within truck segments, editors pointed out that small pickup values increased by 0.40 percent or $64 last week, showing that used trucks still will command attention.

Let’s turn next to some of the highlights of what Black Book representatives stationed at nearly 60 sales observed in the lanes. The top anecdotes covered the major regions of the country, reinforcing the ongoing challenge to keep that used-vehicle inventory appealing.

—From Florida: “The market here remains steady, but there were a lot of no-sales in the dealer lanes.”

—From California: “Prices were holding strong with an above-normal number of buyers. We have seen very good sales for several weeks in a row.”

—From Illinois: “The institutional lanes did very well today. One of the independent used-car dealers stated that his business is doing very good on lower-priced vehicles.”

—From Georgia: “There were few no-sales in the highline sale. The dealers continue to complain about a shortage of nice vehicles in the auction lanes.”

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