Manheim Index Declines Slightly in June

Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) decreased modestly in June from their record level in May, Manheim reports. Wholesale used vehicle values before the seasonal adjustment fell 1.6 percent. After the seasonal adjustment, they declined 0.2 percent.

The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index in June was 127.5, which represented a 6.1 percent increase from its year-ago level. Despite the pullback in gasoline prices, compact and midsize cars continued to be the strongest segments in the market. Indeed, they are now the only two major segments that have meaningful year-over-year gains.

A further rise in new vehicle transaction prices, and the underlying falloff in both inventories and incentives, has kept used vehicle values at lofty levels. Although inventories, incentives, and (one hopes) sales will pick up from their lows in May and June, used vehicle valuations will likely remain strong by historical standards.

Dealer consignment volumes rise despite softening new and used vehicle retail sales: In June, the rental sector showed a continued decline in both the number of new sales into and the number coming out of service. The average auction price for a rental risk unit declined slightly in June, but remained above the $14,000 mark. The average mileage on a rental risk sold at auction declined slightly from May to June. But mileage, like the price, remains at historically high levels.

End-of-service commercial fleet volumes have risen at auction, despite the delivery delays and cancellation that some fleet managers have experienced in acquiring replacement units. The mileage and seasonally adjusted index of pricing for end-of-service midsize fleet cars reached a new high in June.

Small car pricing remains strong. As noted, compact and midsize cars are the only two segments with meaningful gains over the past year. Over the past quarter, only compact cars fit that description. Although compact cars have accounted for a growing share of new vehicle sales in recent years, their share of auction volume has declined slightly in recent months. This is a reflection of the inventory shortage on the new vehicle side, which keeps used units out of the wholesale market.

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