The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Seasonal Patterns Lift Used Car Pricing & Wholesale Activity

March 1, 2013

Spurred by seasonal buying habits from shoppers leveraging anticipated tax returns, the used-car markets saw some price increases during February, according to Black Book. This was particularly prevelant for vehicles in the under $10,000 range, used-car shoppers picked up the pace and wholesale auction activity saw increased price adjustments in fuel-efficient and small crossover segments during February.

The following Black Book data is based on cars and trucks from model-years 2007-2011:

Domestic & Import Performance
Compared with year-ago levels, import vehicle prices are down 14.4 percent while domestic prices are down 8.7 percent. Over the past three months, import prices are down 4.1 percent while domestic prices are down just 1.2 percent. Comparing month-over-month activity, import prices are down 0.9 percent while domestics are down 0.6 percent.

Car & Truck Performance
Compared with year-ago levels, truck segments are down 11.1 percent and car segments are down 14.3 percent. During the past three months, trucks are down 2.2 percent while cars are down 4.3 percent. Comparing month-over-month activity, trucks are down 0.7 percent and cars are down 0.9 percent.

Domestic/Import & Car/Truck Performance

12-Month Comparisons
Import Trucks: -14.1%
Import Cars: -14.6%
Domestic Trucks: -7.2%
Domestic Cars: -13.0%

1-Month Comparisons
Import Trucks: -0.7%
Import Cars: -1.0%
Domestic Trucks: -0.7%
Domestic Cars: -0.3%

Top 5 Segment Price Performance Over Last Month
Mid-Size Pickup Trucks: +0.2%
Full-Size SUV: 0.0%
Entry-Mid-Size Car: -0.1%
Upper Mid-Size Car: -0.3%
Mid-Size SUV: -0.3%

Bottom 5 Segment Price Performance Over Last Month
Full-Size Crossover: -1.3%
Entry Sporty Car: -1.3%
Premium Sporty Car: -1.3%
Premium Luxury Car: -1.2%
Full-Size Cargo Van: -1.2%

Additional growth in new-car sales from pent-up demand will bring in more trade-in volume and result in a continued slow easing of prices at the wholesale level. Fuel-efficient segments should continue to get a lot of looks from the increase in springtime fuel prices. However, pickup trucks and crossover segments should also gain momentum as service sectors look to add vehicle inventory for continued construction activity.

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