Wholesale used vehicle prices rose sequentially and on a year-over-year basis in January partly due to an influx of off-rental units that biased average prices upward, according to the latest Kontos Kommentary published Feb. 26.
The surge of off-rental units stems in large part from vehicles taken out of service in January following extended use in the Northeast in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Those units would likely have otherwise been taken out of service during the normal de-fleeting period in late-2012.
Typically, off-rental units are current model-year or 1-year-old model-year vehicles and therefore carry a higher value than older like-model used vehicles. With a disproportionate share of these vehicles hitting auction in January, average prices were biased upward.
With this factor now largely played out, one can expect wholesale prices to resume the general softening pattern that began around mid-2012 and that was interrupted by Superstorm Sandy.
According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of wholesale used vehicle prices by vehicle model class, wholesale used vehicle prices in January averaged $10,037 — up 2.5% compared to December and 1.3% relative to January 2012. The strongest year-on-year price increases were registered by full-size vans, compact crossovers, midsize cars, full-size pickups and mini SUVs.
Prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers were up 7.7% year-over-year, indicating continued good absorption of off-rental program vehicles. Prices for fleet/lease consignors were up 3.5% year-over-year. Prices fell 1.2% year-over-year for dealer consignors.
Based on data from CNW Marketing/Research, retail used vehicle sales in January were up 14.5% year-over-year for franchised dealers and 16.9% for independent dealers. Similarly, January sales of certified used vehicles were up 14.9% versus prior-year, based on data from Autodata.
Wholesale Used Vehicle Price Trends
Average Prices ($/Unit)
Latest Month Versus:
|Jan-13||Dec-12||Jan-12||Prior Month||Prior Year|
|Total All Vehicles||$10,037||$9,787||$9,906||2.5%||1.3%|
This Kontos Kommentary analysis is based on nearly six million annual sales transactions from more than 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.