Video: Used Vehicle Pricing to Continue Adjustment Trends from Last 2 Weeks, Ricky Beggs Says

“Beggs on the Used Car Market” is a weekly video that Ricky Beggs, Black Book’s managing editor, posts every Monday morning:

Since last week the Black Book editorial team has attended several physical auctions, multiple on-line auctions, worked the specialty markets of the heavy-duty trucks and RVs, met with one manufacturer’s fleet operations and customers, while also presenting an overview and forecast of the used car market with a captive lender.

Within these various events, the insights and comments from the dealers, auctioneers and Black Book survey personnel were all indicating a continuation of a market trending similar to the previous five weeks, while being even more similar to the level of adjustments of the most recent two weeks.

Conversion Rates

We continue to see an increasing level of no sales overall. But not every sale or every seller is seeing the same result. One commercial account representative indicated a pretty strong (60%) sales conversion early in the week to only follow-up with a meager success of only 10% a couple days later. Even when the final bid and asking price weren’t close enough to initially complete the sale, there were instances where the auctioneer worked overtime and was able to get the seller and interested buyer together and complete the deal before leaving the block.

Within the current and less aggressive market, those vehicles with various announcements scattered potential buyers, which didn’t help add to the sales conversion levels.

Another area of the market that has struggled recently has been most all of the 2012s and 2011s being offered for sale. The traditional days of when the end-of-model-year incentives would appear might still be a memory in many of today’s buyers’ minds. This year, with new car days’ supply at very manageable levels and a different build mentality and capability being presented by almost every manufacturer, I don’t see this being as major a concern heading into the fall and new model introduction this time around. But at the same time, there has to be a reasonable spread in value between the coming new model year and the existing 1- and 2-year-old used models.

Pricing Adjustments

So let’s take a look at the actual changes we made this past week. The activity was pretty substantial with just more than 2,300 vehicles adjusted each day throughout the week. From all of these adjustments we had only 16.7% that were increases, very similar to the 16% and 10% of the previous two weeks.

All 10 car segments declined this past week with an average of -$36 per segment, or -.27%. This was not that much more than the previous week, but it was the largest decline since the week ending Feb. 3, 2012, just before the start of the increasing market we had through the middle of May. The lone increasing car segment from the previous week, the Premium Sporty Cars (PSC) was the largest declining car segment this week at -$71 or -.19%.

Looking at the more stable segments for the week the Entry Sporty Cars (ESC) at only -$22 of -.15% were slightly better than the Entry Mid-size Cars (EMC) and the Full-size Cars (FSC) at -$28 and -$30, respectively.

The Truck Segment

The truck segments all declined for the third consecutive week with the average segment change of -$62 or -.48%. The -$62 change was only $2 more than the previous week’s -$60. This most recent change was also the largest average segment change since the week ending September 16, 2011.

There were some specific types with what I would call small downward movement. The most stable was the Mid-size Pickups (MPT) at -$19 or -.15% and the Compact SUVs (CSU) at -$27 or -.27%. A similar segment, the Compact Crossovers (CXU) declined only $10 more than the Compact SUVs at -$37. For the slightly larger Mid-size Crossovers (MXU), this segment declined by a significant -$115. All told, it was an interesting number and amount of changes for the week.

— Ricky Beggs

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