ADESA: Wholesale Prices Down 4.5% Year Over Year

As in March, wholesale used vehicle prices rose seasonally but fell annually in April, indicating continuation of a softening overall pricing environment. Retail sales of used vehicles in April were down on a year-over-year basis for the first time in 2013, although dealers still saw month-over-month used vehicle sales growth and year-over-year growth in CPO sales.

April Prices

According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of Wholesale Used Vehicle Prices by Vehicle Model Class, wholesale used vehicle prices in April averaged $10,096 – up 0.7% compared to March but down 4.5% relative to April 2012.

The largest monthly increases in prices were concentrated in the SUV classes, corresponding to strong new vehicle sales of SUVs in April. Consumer interest in these vehicles has been aided by more favorable gas prices and better fuel economy in newer SUV models. At the same time, compact cars also showed strong month-over-month increases.

Prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers were up 1% month-over-month, but down 3% year-over-year. Prices for fleet/lease consignors were up 1.6% sequentially, but down 2.3% annually. Dealer consignors saw a 2.2% average price increase versus March 2013, but a 6.4% downturn versus April 2012. Thus, all three major seller groups experienced the same seasonal uptick but annual downturn seen for prices in the market as a whole.  

Based on data from CNW Marketing/Research, retail used vehicle sales in April were down 1.4% year-over-year for franchised dealers and 0.2% for independent dealers, although both dealer types saw significant (more than 24%) month-over-month increases. April sales of certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles came off their all-time high in March, and were down 7.2% month-over-month but were up 23.2% year-over-year based on figures from Autodata.

Wholesale Used Vehicle Price Trends

 Average Prices ($/Unit)  Latest Month Versus: 
  Apr-13 Mar-13 Apr-12 Prior Month Prior Year
Total All Vehicles $10,096 $10,028 $10,577 0.7% -4.5%
Total Cars $9,195 $9,189 $9,844 0.1% -6.6%
Compact Car $7,265 $7,065 $7,870 2.8% -7.7%
Midsize Car $8,512 $8,520 $8,964 -0.1% -5.0%
Fullsize Car $7,642 $7,883 $8,007 -3.0% -4.6%
Luxury Car $12,249 $12,057 $13,236 1.6% -7.5%
Sporty Car $13,048 $13,053 $14,011 0.0% -6.9%
Total Trucks $9,935 $9,753 $10,219 1.9% -2.8%
Mini Van $6,959 $6,929 $7,746 0.4% -10.2%
Fullsize Van $10,089 $9,982 $9,330 1.1% 8.1%
Mini SUV $11,415 $11,227 $11,178 1.7% 2.1%
Midsize SUV $7,377 $6,911 $7,691 6.7% -4.1%
Fullsize SUV $10,973 $10,647 $12,033 3.1% -8.8%
Luxury SUV $18,379 $18,144 $19,734 1.3% -6.9%
Compact Pickup $7,579 $7,550 $8,100 0.4% -6.4%
Fullsize Pickup $11,889 $11,790 $11,513 0.8% 3.3%
Total Crossovers $13,498 $13,572 $14,127 -0.5% -4.5%
Compact CUV $11,999 $12,098 $11,907 -0.8% 0.8%
Mid/Fullsize CUV $15,003 $15,084 $16,760 -0.5% -10.5%

Source: ADESA Analytical Services

The analysis is based on nearly six million annual sales transactions from over 150 of the largest U.S. wholesale auto auctions, including those of ADESA as well as other auction companies. ADESA Analytical Services segregates these transactions to study trends by vehicle model class.

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