Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage- and seasonally adjusted basis) increased in January for the fourth consecutive month. This pushed the January Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to a reading of 125.3, which represented an increase of 2.5% from a year ago.
January’s price increase pushed used vehicle values to their highest level since April 2012, according to Manheim. Wholesale prices are not, however, in conflict with the continued rise in new vehicle transaction prices (net of incentives) or the strong retail used vehicle results being reported by most dealers.
Average auction prices for rental risk units (both adjusted and unadjusted for mileage and mix shifts) rose relative to December but were down absent the adjustment. Adjusted prices were basically level with a year ago, according to Manheim. Average mileage on units sold in January remained at the record high level posted in December.
In January, new cars and light-duty trucks sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16.7 million in January. More than a handful of makes had their best January ever, says Manheim.
According to CNW, dealer sales of used vehicles rose 1.4% and certified pre-owned (CPO) sales jumped 17% in January. That was after both publicly traded and private dealer groups indicated strong used vehicle operations in the fourth quarter.
Wholesale pricing for compact cars was weak in January. That has been the trend for more than a year as a result of competitive pricing on the new vehicle side and abundant offerings in the wholesale market, according to Manheim. The pricing pressure in this segment has only been intensified by the plunge in gas prices.