Adesa: Wholesale Market to Strengthen

Wholesale used vehicle prices stayed relatively flat in November compared to October, although they remained higher on a year-over-year basis, wrote ADESA's Tom Kontos in his November 2010 Kontos Kommentary column.

The rate of increase in wholesale prices on a year-over-year basis should continue to diminish as year-ago "comps" get stronger. However, wholesale prices will likely follow their typical strengthening seasonal pattern on a month-over-month basis in December and into the first few months of 2011, reinforced by continued tight used vehicle supply.

According to ADESA Analytical Services' monthly analysis of Wholesale Used Vehicle Prices by Vehicle Model Class1, wholesale used vehicle prices in October averaged $9,788 - up 0.2 percent from October and 1.9 percent versus prior year. Among segments that have significant volume and number of model entries, minivans had particularly robust prices in November.

Manufacturers registered a 1.4 percent month-over-month price decrease and a 1.2 percent year-over-year rise. Fleet/lease consignors experienced a 1.3 percent sequential price decrease and a 3.8 percent annual increase. Dealer consignors saw a 0.6 percent average price increase versus October and a 9.6 percent uptick versus November 2009.

ADESA Analytical Services estimates that auction industry inventory levels stood at 32 days at month-end compared to 37 days last November - an indication of continued tight supply.

Based on data from CNW Marketing/Research, retail used-vehicle sales in November were down 9.6 percent year-over-year for franchised dealers, but up 3.4 percent for independent dealers. On a month-over-month basis, used-vehicle sales were down for both franchised (down 6.2 percent) and independent dealers (down 9.2 percent).  Certified-used vehicle sales in November were down 10.6 percent versus October but up 28.1 percent compared to November 2009, according to Autodata. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index for used vehicles rose by 6.0 percent year-over-year in November, which was considerably less of an increase than the double-digit increases recorded throughout most of this year.

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