Risk Unit Prices Dip 7.5% in Q1

Price changes for selective market classes for April 2016 versus April 2015. Courtesy of Manheim.
Price changes for selective market classes for April 2016 versus April 2015. Courtesy of Manheim.

Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage- and seasonally adjusted basis) inched up in April after starting the year with three consecutive monthly declines. That brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to a reading of 122.8 for April.

Given that wholesale prices were easing at this time last year, the year-over-year decline in the Index was reduced to 1.1% in April, according to Manheim.

Fundamentals suggest that the Index’s rise in April will be temporary, but they do not suggest a near-term collapse in pricing. A modest easing in wholesale pricing would not be unwelcomed by dealers, and it would not be painful for commercial consignors. A bigger, say 5%, decline would be harmful to both, says Manheim.

The average auction price for rental risk units (adjusted for market class shifts and mileage) was down 7.5% from a year ago, according to Manheim. At 41,137 miles, average mileage was the lowest since September 2014.

In April, a straight average of auction sales showed prices rising approximately 3% from a year ago, but that was the result of a higher commercial consignment share and newer units within that mix.

The average mileage on all auction sales in April was the lowest since January 2011, according to Manheim. The influx of newer units into the wholesale market has had significant downward pressure on the pricing of slightly older, higher-mileage units.

April Used Vehicle Index, courtesy of Manheim
April Used Vehicle Index, courtesy of Manheim

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