Average auction prices for rental risk units continued to decline in September. After accounting for broad changes in mix and mileage, prices for rental risk units were down 4.5% from a year ago, according to the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index. Average mileage crept back up above 40,000, and volumes sold increased.
Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage- and seasonally adjusted basis) declined 0.3% in September, which resulted in a Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index of 121.4 — a decrease of 1.1% from a year ago.
This was the fifth consecutive monthly decline. After an exceptionally strong 17.4 million new vehicle sales pace in August (driven in part by technical and calendar factors), new vehicle sales pulled back to a 16.3 million rate in September, according to Manheim.
For the first nine months of this year, the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate was 16.3 million; it was 16.6 million over the past six months and 16.7 million over the past three months. Although economic forces suggest the retail consumer sector will improve in the months ahead, it is likely that the auto industry will plateau given that it got out ahead of — and then ran considerably faster than — the overall recovery, says Manheim.
According to CNW, used vehicle sales saw an increase of nearly 5% in September after declining by more than 9% in August. Strong new vehicle sales in August stole some used vehicle buyers in that month, but the resulting trade-ins were then retailed in September, says Manheim.
Pickups and vans remain the strongest segments year-over-year, but in recent months, all of the market classes have been showing basically the same level of easing in prices on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to Manheim.