'03 Rental Market Accounts for 1.7M Used Vehicle Units

LAS VEGAS –- In a year when incentives kept new car sales high and prices low, used car sales more than held their own, with a record 43.6 million vehicles retailed in 2003 at a value of $370 billion, according to Manheim's 2004 Used Car Market Report.

The report notes that a decline in air travel prompted rental fleet downsizing, but quicker cycling kept new vehicle sales to the rental market -- and the remarketing of end-of-service vehicles out of the market -- at nearly 1.7 million units for the year.

Released at the National Automobile Dealers Association's annual convention, the report takes an in-depth look at the remarketing industry. This is defined as the total business-to-business infrastructure and all the interacting transactions that ultimately support the nearly 44 million used vehicles retailed each year.

This year's report also highlights how the industry is using technology to find new ways to sell vehicles at every stage of the remarketing cycle. "In 2003, the auction industry partnered with remarketers to take technology in remarketing to the next level," said Dean Eisner, president and CEO of Manheim. "The industry developed and deployed a range of innovations that allow remarketers to sell vehicles at a faster pace, with more safeguards, and these services have strengthened the overall value of the used car market."

The 2004 report provides an overview of remarketing in 2003, including detailed analysis and data on both the retail and wholesale sectors.

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