Rental Unit Mileage Increases, While Wholesale Activity, Prices Shift

Prices and dealer activity at auctions often changed from day-to-day during the week of May 24, depending on the specific auction and vehicle type, said Black Book’s Ricky Beggs.

In his latest “Beggs on the Market” video report, Beggs said auction prices for Chrysler have been relatively steady and actually showed an increase for the week, even though Chrysler recently filed for bankruptcy. In reviewing 152 models of the 2003 to 2008 model years of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep products, the average change for the week was up $28.52, Beggs said.

Beggs added that the mileage of rental units in the market has climbed significantly.

“Reports have shown much higher levels of mileage on cars within the rental market. This type vehicle and mileage level, Beggs added, is becoming a little more acceptable, he commented.

“There is a market, at the right price, for 2008 models with 46,000 to 53,000 miles,” Beggs stated.

Beggs, who is Black Book’s vice president and managing editor, discussed the overall wholesale market, saying that although conditions got stronger toward the end of the week, any adjustments were still made throughout the period.

Prices of the 10 car segments that Black Book examines fell an average of $13. The 14 truck segments climbed $14 on average, however. Full-size SUVs showed the largest increase (up $78), while prestige luxury cars had the heaviest downward adjustment at $42.

Beggs said after attending an auction that bidding wasn’t as aggressive as it has been. But he added that dealers are not afraid to “step up” on an extra clean condition unit and pay whatever it takes. It takes at least two dealers feeling strongly about a vehicle for the bidding to go up.

With the overall decrease in used-vehicle supply compared to last year, the extra clean units have become harder to find, which has often caused final bid levels to increase, Beggs noted.

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