The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

NAFRD Survey Shows Majority of Resale Dealers Purchase From Fleet/Lease Companies While Online Auctions Gain Popularity

July 7, 2003

Internet use is up, days until delivery are down and fleet resale dealers are buying more of their cars through online auctions than in recent years. That’s the word from the National Association of Fleet Resale Dealers (NAFRD), which announced the results of its 2002-2003 Business Survey. The survey, taken every year since 1986, provides a closer look at everything from the average cost of preparing a car for sale to the exterior colors that are hardest to place. Here’s a closer look at the survey’s findings:  NAFRD dealers report that during the last year, they purchased 46 percent of their vehicles from fleet/lease companies; 18 percent from auctions (including online auctions); and 12 percent from corporate fleets. The remainder of their purchases were from other sources.  NAFRD members are increasingly using the Internet to manage used vehicle operations (67 percent); brand their companies (71 percent); and find and buy vehicles online (81 percent).  On average, the market difference between a three-door and a four-door minivan last year was $892. Overall, responses ranged from $400 to $1,500. In 1999, the average difference was $620. The difference in price between a one-year-old five-passenger and seven-passenger van was $1,283.  A diesel engine in a one-year-old full-size pickup will increase its value by an average of $2,724 over an eight-cylinder gas engine. For trucks two years old, the difference in value is $2,231 and for those three years old, $1,826. In 1999, those numbers were $1,254; $1,037; and $863 respectively.  The added value of a moon roof has continued to increase, reaching $433 in a one-year-old vehicle last year. Leather was the next highest-rated option at $400, with alloy wheels following at $176; power seats at $154; CD player at $135; and spoiler at $107.  The most popular exterior/interior color combinations remain white/gray and silver/gray, followed by white/tan; gold/tan; and red/gray. Least popular colors (including purple, black, brown yellow and green) meant an average difference of $529 compared to vehicles with an average color. Those with “good” colors meant a positive difference of $521.  The cost of mechanical reconditioning has continued to rise, reaching an average of $422 for retail and $161 wholesale, while cosmetic reconditioning has remained virtually the same.  In addition to the economy, zero-percent financing on new cars and the September 11 tragedy, NAFRD members reported that their businesses were most affected by higher expenses and a lower supply of lessors.  During the past year, NAFRD members processed an average of 1,644 vehicles each; responses ranged from 428 to 5,200. On average, individual businesses saw profits off by 6 percent.
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