The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Manheim Says Falling Mid-Size and Compact Car Resale Prices Hurt Performance for Commercial Fleets

July 08, 2013

Manheim has released a report on used-vehicle sales for the first half of 2013, noting that wholesale used-vehicle prices have fallen 3 percent year-over-year.

Specific to commercial fleets, Manheim stated that mid-size and compact cars have seen the largest drop in resale prices year-over-year during the first half of 2013 (through June), at 4.0 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively, reducing the resale prices on those vehicles in these segments sold by commercial fleet managers. The company did note that many models popular in commercial fleets continued to perform well in the auction market.

With regard to other trends, pickup truck resale prices outperformed all other used-vehicle segments during the first half of the year. Wholesale prices in this category increased 3.6 percent due to demand from the improving housing industry and limited supplies of these vehicles in the wholesale market.

For rental fleets, resale prices stayed strong in June, with Manheim noting that prices for rental risk units sold at auction (unadjusted for market class and mileage) went up 4.8 percent in June compared to the same period a year ago.

In general, Manheim’s Tom Webb, chief economist for the company, said prices are returning to normal levels after a period of higher than usual prices.

"Wholesale vehicle prices are returning to a more normal level after having been elevated the past several years due to low supply and high demand," said Webb. "Moderating pricing is being driven, in part, by strong sales of new retail vehicles. As sales of new vehicles increase, more used vehicles are coming into the wholesale market through trade-ins and lease returns. Wholesale vehicle pricing should continue to moderate in the second half of 2013, though the overall strength of the market should be unaffected."

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