SANTA MONICA, Calif. -
Look for the used-car market to finish with at least 3 million sales this month.
An analysis of May retail sales from TrueCar said it’s possible the monthly used-car sales total will beat 3.14 million units. This would be a 2.7-percent year-over-year increase.
At Edmunds.com, their analysts’ monthly report was calling for about 3.0 million used sales in May. This would result in a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 36.7 million.
AuSM reached out to a few dealers on Friday afternoon to see how used sales were faring for their respective stores and markets.
In the Chicago area, Infiniti of Naperville was seeing its used-car sales fall about 15 percent year-over-year for May, while its year-to-date tally is down by the same amount, says Steve Camp, the store’s executive manager.
However, the Lisle Auto Plaza Group that Infiniti of Naperville belongs to has seen its used sales climb 5 percent year-to-date. Not to mention, Infiniti of Naperville saw more than 20-percent growth in used sales for both 2013 and 2014, Camp said.
The dealership is doing its due diligence to figure out what may be leading to this dip.
“We’re digging in deep and trying to find out what the root cause is,” Camp said.
Meanwhile, 300- miles to the Southeast, Rick Ricart is seeing a different market in Columbus, Ohio.
“May is shaping up to be the greatest single used-car month in company history, with the single-point Used Car Factory (Ricart Ford) on pace for 837 retail sales with three days left in the month,” said Ricart, the vice president of sales and marketing for the Ricart Auto Group.
“The ‘perfect storm’ of a strong market, especially with lenders willing to finance at aggressive rates and higher risk, the available inventory of off-lease late model cars has led to huge opportunity,” Ricart added. “I see the market taking a dip and June, but a strong July and August to finish the summer.”
Over at Cavender Toyota in San Antonio, used-car sales director Ray Sanabia said the store sold 434 used vehicles in May for a 22.3-percent year-over-year gain, but they were “disappointed” in the 1.6-percent month-over-month decrease. That said, Sanabia is expecting big things in June.
“Locally we experience record rainfall, which was accompanied by hail and flooding,” Sanabia said. “With the weather issues behind us, we are expecting a strong June 2015 with our biggest challenge being able to find inventory.”
What the Market Did in April
Looking back to earlier this spring, there were 3.2 million used-car sales in April, Edmunds said, a sum which represented a 36.4 million SAAR.
In the latest Manheim Auto Industry Brief, Cox Automotive chief economist Tom Webb shared some additional data on April’s used retail environment, citing NADA statistics.
According to NADA, Webb said, there was a 5-percent increase in total used retail sales for April. Franchised dealers lifted their sales 8 percent, he added, while independents climbed 6 percent, and private-party sales increased 2 percent.
NADA pinpointed the April used sales figure at nearly 3.6 million units (up 5.3 percent year-over-year) and 3.22 million seasonally adjusted.
“The spring effect is real. For the last three years, we have seen sales pick up significantly in April,” said Steven Szakaly, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association, when NADA released those results. “Whether it’s the warmer weather or an improving selection of vehicles, April is typically a strong sales month.”