Black Book: Values of Used Car and Trucks Continue Downward Trend

The overall used-vehicle market continues to fall, with trucks dropping for the twelfth consecutive week and cars entering their tenth week of decline, according to the Used Car Market Report by Black Book.

During those periods, all fourteen truck segments that Black Book tracks declined each week, while on the car side, only two market segments, prestige luxury cars (twice) and premium sports cars (once), had positive movement during any single week.

“We saw the activity at the auctions and the market value changes perk up a little as last week and this week are the final two full weeks of auction scheduled before the end of the year. I think this has some dealers and remarketers striving to make the best of their opportunities before the beginning of the holiday weeks and the end of 2009,” said Black Book’s vice president and managing editor Ricky Beggs

The Black Book survey personnel this week provided a variety of comments. They ranged from “low inventory”, “many no sales”, to “dealers are very conservative”, and even some more positive on the market such as “SUVs in demand”, “leveling off” and a forecast saying “in 3 weeks the sellers will be happy.”

Based on auction activity from last week: Eight of the 10 car segments had larger drops in pricing than the previous week, with the overall average being down $88, a $30 increase from last week’s amount.

The truck segment took the opposite trend with all 14 segment types having smaller price changes than the previous week, with the average being down $53, which was $29 less than the week before.

The condition of vehicles will continue to be a major factor in values and how they react in the market. This past week, 17 percent of the Clean Condition adjustments were raises in value, averaging an increase of $98, while only 12 percent of the Average Condition adjustments were increases, averaging $90. The overall change in value by condition came in at -$96 for Clean models and -$105 for Average models.

Two weeks ago, the first full week after Thanksgiving, brought an average number of models adjusted on a daily basis at just over 2580. This past week the overall movement was more stable, with less than half the number of daily adjustments, at 1050 per day. “I see this as indicating a little more stability in the market before the upcoming two shortened holiday weeks,” Beggs said.

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