Used-Vehicle Market Remains Strong, but Increase Slows

Partially due to the beginning of the “Cash for Clunkers” program, the strength of the used-vehicle market is continuing. Five of the 10 car segments tracked by Black Book finishing the week of July 20 with positive adjustments. However, with eight straight weeks of positive trends on the car models, the $13 average increase was the smallest movement in the past six weeks. According to the Used Car Market report by Black Book’s managing editor Ricky Beggs, the market continues to be “active and strong” with very good sales percentages at the auctions.

Counting last week, the truck market has now reported 10 straight weeks of gains. For the last two weeks, 13 of the 14 truck segments were up.

The small volume cargo minivans, down $15, were the lone weak segment.

The “Cash for Clunkers” program, which officially started July 27, has at least created interest at new car dealerships, Beggs noted. But a condition you don’t hear much about is that the title must be free and clear of any and all liens at trade in. Those who participate in this program, just need to sure everything is in order to get the $3,500 or $4,500 refund from the government.

The Beggs report also discussed the exotic and collector car market. The collectible market reached its peak about three years ago, with many vehicles, especially muscle cars, reaching all time highs, Beggs wrote. When the economy declined, the average collectible vehicle lost roughly 25 percent of its value. For example, first generation Camaro Z28s were routinely breaking the $100,000 mark at auction, and Barracudas were selling for $400,000 to $500,000. But currently, Z28s in restored condition are in the $75,000 - $80,000 range, and the Barracudas are below $250,000. With that in mind, Beggs said now is an excellent time to buy a collectible.

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