Wholesale used vehicle prices increased in July for the fourth consecutive month, despite expectations that wholesale prices would suffer in 2016 due to growing wholesale supplies.
Despite the pricing expectations, current auction values were not considered abnormal relative to several long-term historic relationships, according to Manheim’s Used Vehicle Value Index.
The most notable relationship was wholesale pricing, with respect to new vehicle pricing, not being exceptionally high. Monthly payment differentials and other financing terms also support the current new/used price relationship. And narrowing margins have shown that the increase in wholesale pricing is not entirely the result of the retail used vehicle buyer.
New vehicle sales: New cars and light-duty trucks sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.8 million in July, which was up from June’s 16.6 million pace and the first half rate of 17.1 million.
Used vehicle sales: Total used retail unit volumes increased 5% in the first half of 2016, with franchised dealers up 4% and independents up 7%, according to NADA. Preliminary observations indicate the gains continued in July.
Rental risk prices: A straight average of auction prices for rental risk units sold in July jumped 21% from a year ago because of significantly lower average mileage (-21%) and a richer mix of units sold.
Compact car pricing: Compact cars outperformed the overall market, despite remaining the weakest of all the major segments over the past year. Sports cars, pickups, and mid- and full-size SUVs are the only segments with significant increases in wholesale pricing over the past year.