ADESA: Used Vehicle Prices Rebound in March

Wholesale prices strengthened in March — above both seasonal and year-ago levels. Off-rental units, which were in greater abundance last March, were a driving factor in this March’s results, according to the latest Kontos Kommentary from ADESA Chief Economist Tom Kontos.

Delayed off-rental supply translated into higher off-rental prices, which contributed to higher overall average wholesale used vehicle prices. On top of that, retail used vehicle sales rebounded strongly in March — after being depressed by severe weather in January and February. The resulting strong demand also contributed to higher overall prices, says Kontos.

To the extent off-rental volume was hindered by winter conditions and a late Easter, this volume should be forthcoming soon. And along with expected off-lease volume growth, it will put downward pressure on prices as seen in previous months, says Kontos.

According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of Wholesale Used Vehicle Prices by Vehicle Model Class, wholesale used vehicle prices in March averaged $10,429 — up 6% compared to February and up 4% relative to March 2013. All segments, except minivans, registered month-over-month increases. Pickups and SUVs experienced particularly strong year-over-year price increases.

As manufacturers capitalized on strong demand for certifiable units and lower supply of off-rental program cars, prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers were up 3.9% month-over-month and up 8.2% year-over-year. Prices for fleet/lease consignors were up 8.8% sequentially and up 4.5% annually — in part due to tight supplies and strong demand for off-rental risk units.

For dealer consignors, there was a 7.5% average price increase versus February and a 4.5% uptick versus March 2013. This indicated solid wholesale absorption of high trade-in volume from strong March new vehicle sales.

Based on data from CNW Marketing/Research, retail used vehicle sales were up almost 50% month-over-month, as severe weather conditions eased. And March sales of certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles were up 15.3% from the prior month and up 8.6% from the prior year, according to figures from Autodata.

Wholesale Used Vehicle Price Trends     
  Average Prices ($/Unit)     Latest Month Versus:  
  Mar-14 Feb-14 Mar-13 Prior Month Prior Year
Total All Vehicles $10,429 $9,839 $10,028 6.0% 4.0%
Total Cars $9,337 $8,776 $9,189 6.4% 1.6%
Compact Car $7,410 $7,130 $7,065 3.9% 4.9%
Midsize Car $8,519 $8,140 $8,520 4.7% 0.0%
Fullsize Car $7,554 $6,889 $7,883 9.7% -4.2%
Luxury Car $12,422 $11,999 $12,057 3.5% 3.0%
Sporty Car $13,247 $12,002 $13,053 10.4% 1.5%
Total Trucks $10,843 $10,239 $9,753 5.9% 11.2%
Mini Van $7,486 $7,609 $6,929 -1.6% 8.0%
Fullsize Van $10,927 $10,907 $9,982 0.2% 9.5%
Mini SUV $12,746 $11,988 $11,227 6.3% 13.5%
Midsize SUV $7,995 $7,324 $6,911 9.2% 15.7%
Fullsize SUV $11,320 $10,652 $10,647 6.3% 6.3%
Luxury SUV $19,788 $18,210 $18,144 8.7% 9.1%
Compact Pickup $7,558 $7,260 $7,550 4.1% 0.1%
Fullsize Pickup $13,274 $12,460 $11,790 6.5% 12.6%
Total Crossovers $13,300 $12,615 $13,572 5.4% -2.0%
Compact CUV $12,200 $11,480 $12,098 6.3% 0.8%
Mid/Fullsize CUV $14,473 $13,791 $15,084 4.9% -4.1%

This Kontos Kommentary analysis is based on nearly six million annual sales transactions from more than 150 of the largest U.S. wholesale auto auctions, including those of ADESA as well as other auction companies. ADESA Analytical Services segregates these transactions to study trends by vehicle model class.

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Max. 10000 characters)  
Please leave blank:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

Newsletter: Sign up to receive latest news, articles, and much more.

Read the latest

Auto Focus Blog: A blog covering fleets, auto rental and the business of cars

Autonomous Vehicles and the Changing Role of the Fleet Manager

With fewer drivers and substantially longer fleet lifecycles, fleet managers will pivot to new job functions.

2017: Fleet Mix Will Be Paramount

Car rental companies are migrating to vehicle segments with better residual values, though not without bumps in the road.

Auto Rental Summit: Five Trend Lines

Taking in the seminars, discussions, and networking at the 2016 Auto Rental Summit, trend lines emerged around shifts in model mix, data protection issues, increasing labor costs, workforce engagement, and new platforms to rent cars.

Job Finder: Access Top Talent. Fill Key Positions.