Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) declined 1.0% in April, according to Manheim Consulting. This brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to a level of 119.2, which was 5.5% lower than a year ago.
Although April marked the fourth consecutive monthly decline in wholesale used vehicle values (and produced a cumulative decline of 3.9% since December), the recent movement has been neither alarming nor disruptive to the market, Manheim stated in its monthly Index analysis. Indeed, the easing was long anticipated and, in fact, probably mitigates some of the decline that many were expecting in the back half of the year. Moderating strength in the retail market, however, suggests the possibility of further pressure on wholesale values, Manheim said.
Prices for rental risk units sold at auction (adjusted for changes in mix and mileage) were 4.1% lower than their year-ago levels. Vehicles selling just below the price point for many rental risk units were the weakest segment of the wholesale market in April.
Midsize and compact cars have been the most price-competitive segments of the wholesale market both in recent months and over the course of the past year. That's not surprising given the offerings, pricing, and financing options available on midsize and compact cars in the new vehicle market.
Prices for pickup trucks continued to be strong due to increased demand (as a result of the improvement in the housing industry) and limited supplies in the wholesale market, especially for units with less than 100,000 miles.