Wholesale Vehicle Prices Up 6% Month-Over-Month

Wholesale used vehicle prices in March averaged $10,815 — up 6% compared to February and up 1.7% relative to March 2015. Car prices continue to show year-over-year declines while prices for pickups and SUVs/crossovers show gains.

Signs of the traditional spring tax-season market appeared in March, as average wholesale prices increased both on a sequential and annual basis, according to the latest Kontos Kommentary from ADESA Chief Economist Tom Kontos.

According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of Wholesale Used Vehicle Prices by Vehicle Model Class, wholesale used vehicle prices in March averaged $10,815 — up 6% compared to February and up 1.7% relative to March 2015.

Continuing a now-familiar pattern, car prices on a year-over-year basis were down, while truck prices were up, particularly for full-size SUVs, CUVs, and pickups.

Average wholesale prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers were up 1.9% month-over-month but down 1% year-over-year, according to ADESA. Prices for fleet/lease consignors were up 6.8% sequentially but down 2.4% annually. Within that category, off-rental risk units had significant year-over-year price declines despite lower average mileage.

Two- and four-year-old vehicles also saw major year-over-year price declines, as did older models. Dealer consignors saw a 4.1% price increase versus February and a 1.5% increase relative to March 2015, according to ADESA.

Data from NADA showed a 12.5% year-over-year decrease in retail used vehicle sales by franchised dealers and a modest 0.6% increase for independent dealers in March (possibly due to the timing of Easter), but both were up significantly on a month-over-month basis.

Wholesale Used Vehicle Price Trends          
  Average Prices ($/Unit)     Latest Month Versus:  
  Mar-16 Feb-16 Mar-15 Prior Month Prior Year
Total All Vehicles $10,815 $10,202 $10,639 6.0% 1.7%
Total Cars $9,095 $8,508 $9,395 6.9% -3.2%
Compact Car $7,060 $6,650 $7,356 6.2% -4.0%
Midsize Car $8,119 $7,667 $8,122 5.9% 0.0%
Fullsize Car $7,828 $7,378 $8,194 6.1% -4.5%
Luxury Car $13,668 $12,902 $14,201 5.9% -3.8%
Sporty Car $14,550 $12,901 $13,970 12.8% 4.1%
Total Trucks $12,685 $12,032 $12,039 5.4% 5.4%
Mini Van $7,964 $7,262 $8,410 9.7% -5.3%
Fullsize Van $12,788 $12,429 $12,805 2.9% -0.1%
Compact SUV/CUV $11,093 $10,615 $11,060 4.5% 0.3%
Midsize SUV/CUV $11,327 $10,665 $10,721 6.2% 5.6%
Fullsize SUV/CUV $13,428 $12,100 $11,930 11.0% 12.6%
Luxury SUV/CUV $18,891 $17,761 $18,865 6.4% 0.1%
Compact Pickup $8,627 $8,370 $7,882 3.1% 9.5%
Fullsize Pickup $15,821 $15,303 $14,318 3.4% 10.5%

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.

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