Pricing

How wholesale prices are faring in Canada

CARY, N.C.  - 

June marked the first time in five months that there was a dip in the Canadian Black Book Wholesale Used Vehicle Retention Index. But take that with a grain of salt.

It was a relatively modest month-over-month decline (0.4 percent), and the index is still strong, and vehicles are retaining values as well as they have in the 13 years the index has been tracking values. 

What’s more, the index in June was up 3.9 percent year-over-year.

On a segment level, fuel price gains are helping to push up smaller cars.

“Looking across the segments in greater detail, the subcompact and compact cars have shown impressive growth of 8 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively, since the same time last year,” Canadian Black Book said in its analysis.

“Subcompact cars are up 0.6 percent from last month alone.  No doubt some higher fuel prices are helping these two segments stay strong,” it noted.

CBB also spotlighted the compact crossovers, which jumped 4.4 percent-over-year and 0.5 percent month-over-month.  Midsize cars have fallen 1.4 percent year-to-date but climbed 7.4 percent year-over-year in June.

Conversely, there was a 2.2-percent year-over-year decline and a 0.7-percent month-over-month drop for full-size pickups, according to CBB.

Minivans were 3.9 percent softer through six months of the year and were off 1.3 percent month-over-month.  Luxury cars dipped 1.5 percent year-over-year.

Separately, the ADESA Canada Used Vehicle Price Index, powered by ALG, was up in June after seasonality adjustment.   

However, the report on that index found that wholesale price fell an average of 0.3 percent from May.

By segment, transaction prices on mid-compacts were down 4.7 percent month-over-month, midsize cars were down 10.4 percent, minivans fell 2.1 percent and compact SUVs were off 4 percent, according to the ADESA index report.

Midsize SUVs were up 1.2 percent, and full-size picks were down 1 percent.


CARPROOF data-driven appraisal tool aims to consider 'unique' vehicle history

CARY, N.C. - 

CARPROOF’s newly released data-driven appraisal tool —  CARPROOF True Value — can provide more accurate values of used vehicles because it looks at vehicles' unique history, rather than just what it’s being listed for within a particular geographic area, according to company vice president of product management Greg Beckman.

To calculate a specific appraisal, the new online tool leverages the company's extensive automotive data such as listing information, along with reports on prior damage, odometer readings and even where a car has been registered.

“Based on the full data we have, we’re able to give a very accurate value for what that vehicle is worth,” Beckman explained during a recent phone interview.

In addition to CARPROOF’s free , car buyers and sellers can also upgrade to get the specific True Value that includes the vehicle's unique history records.

“What we’re doing with that is we’re providing a range of values for similar vehicles in a geographic area, and rate is based on full data, so it’s not based on what cars are being listed for. It’s actually generated and calculated based on what the cars are selling for in that area,” Beckman said. “With that range you get a good idea of what that vehicle would be worth but then get a vehicle’s specific amount, which is our ‘True Value’ — that value is calculated based on a car’s unique history,” Beckman explained.

CARPROOF’s exact True Value is based on a combination of what similar vehicles have sold for and history reports.

“In order to get that value you have to purchase our history report, which is anywhere from $40 to $52 for the full story,” Beckman added. “With that purchase of the history report, you get the actual specific value for your vehicle as opposed to just a free range.”

Along with odometer readings and more, vehicle history information also includes important information regarding how the vehicle has been serviced or any accidents it may have been in, according to Beckman.

“Our mission is to help Canadians make informed decisions about buying and selling used cars,” said CARPROOF president Mark Rousseau in a news release announcing the launch of CARPROOF True Value. “Our aim is to reduce the guesswork around used-car value, helping private sellers set competitive asking prices and giving buyers peace of mind that the price they're paying is fair.”

CARPROOF is one of the presenting sponsors at the later this month. The event is being held March 27-28 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. 

Dealertrack's top-funded cars experience year-end price gains

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario - 

At the close of 2017, Dealertrack Canada saw significant annual price gains for used vehicles in its network.

The Average Cash Price of the in its online credit application network rose by 5.23 percent compared to 2016, according to the company.

Like in November, nine of the 10 top vehicles experienced gains last month.

Up 13.50 percent, and with an average cash price of $14,019, the 6th-place Chevrolet Cruze saw the largest annual gain, while the 7th-place Ford Escape saw the largest year-to-year drop. The model is down 4.6 percent with an average cash price of $17,865.

“2017 was a solid year overall for the used-car business and our Dealertrack Canada network, and we expect this trend to continue in 2018,” Dealertrack Canada vice president and general manager Richard Evans said in a news release.

Additionally, the average 2017 top 10 funded vehicle was 40.7 months old, and the average cash price paid was $19,539 last year.

Canadian Black Book shares its first Used Vehicle Retention Index

MARKHAM, Ontario - 

What has been a staple of its used-vehicle analysis in the United States is now coming to Canada.

As Black Book has compiled in the U.S., Canadian Black Book announced today the release of its first Used Vehicle Retention Index for Canada.

Editors highlighted the index will serve to offer what they called “unbiased and accurate” insights and statistics regarding the health of the used wholesale vehicle market in Canada. This inaugural edition covers the month of November.

“We’ve used this type of index data internally for many years, and are now packaging it up to provide Canada’s auto industry a free monthly resource to help monitor the ongoing vital signs of used vehicle pricing domestically,” said Brad Rome, president of Canadian Black Book.

“This information is impartial to any brand, and can help guide decision makers with accurate figures regarding the strength or weakness of used-vehicle prices,” Rome continued.

Just like in the U.S., the Canadian Black Book Used Vehicle Retention Index is calculated using Canadian Black Book’s published wholesale average value on 2- to 6-year-old used vehicles, as a percent of original typically-equipped MSRP. Canadian Black Book’s wholesale average is a benchmark value for used vehicles selling in the wholesale auctions with the vehicle quality in average condition. The index is weighted based on used vehicle sales volume and adjusted for seasonality, vehicle age, mileage, condition, and inflation (MSRP).

Aggregated from daily vehicle value updates, and captured throughout thousands of wholesale vehicle transactions across the country, the Canadian Black Book Used Vehicle Retention Index is designed to represent data across all regions of Canada.

“The index is based on a comprehensive list of vehicles included in the Canadian Black Book wholesale database, and includes no bias toward any brand, data source or region, ensuring an accurate report of the used-vehicle market,” the company said

The index will provide automotive industry professionals and watchers with insight regarding trends with comparisons year-over-year and month-over-month. From a more macroeconomic perspective, it will illustrate pricing performance since the index commenced with data from 2005.

“We are always being asked about the overall state of used vehicle value retention, which we are happy to answer.  This new regularly published index will just make it easier and provide a more visual means to get those answers and see the direction of prices in Canada,” said Brian Murphy, vice president of research and editorial at Canadian Black Book.

This first index illustrates the effects of the “economic pain” of 2008-2009 in the index.  This “pain” becomes even more visible after examining full-size trucks during that time as prices fell more than 15 percent nationally. 

Late 2009 saw what editors dubbed as a false recovery of prices, followed by falling prices again. However since the middle of 2010, Canadian Black Book noted there has been a remarkable and steady growth in prices overall. 

Today the index — — is currently at its highest level (102.4) since it was first calculated using 2005 data.

Editors determined the strongest segments are full-size luxury crossovers/SUVs, midsize crossovers and small pickup trucks.  The segments with weakest performance are the near-luxury cars and subcompact cars, both perform considerably below the market average.  Both however have strengthened in recent months. 

A more detailed index at the more granular segment level will be made available for Canadian Black Book clients upon request.

The index will be posted monthly on .

The latest U.S. index update can be found here.

RVI spots used-car price declines in Canada

STAMFORD, Conn.  - 

While the exchange rate climbed, Canada’s used-car prices moved downward in the first full month of summer.

That’s according to RVI Group, whose Market Update for August indicated that the RVI Used Vehicle Price Index (Real) dipped 0.1 percent month-over-month in July and declined 0.3-percent year-over-year.

Nominally, there was a 1.1-percent decline in used-car prices from June but a 1.9-percent uptick from July 2016, RVI said.

The U.S.-to-Canadian exchange rate was 0.79 in July, compared to 0.75 in June and 0.77 a year ago, RVI said.

Segment trends

Delving into the individual segments within the index, RVI found that nine showed year-over-year price gains, with nine showing decreases. The largest overall decrease was for luxury coupes (down 15.8 percent from July 2016), with small SUVs (down 7.6 percent) with the largest decline when just looking at high-volume segments.

Leading the increases was the luxury full-size sedan (up 15.1 percent).

But among high-volume segments, compacts showed the most price growth (up 5.9 percent), according to RVI.

 

Murphy: With interest rate rise, used-car prices to fall

MARKHAM, Ontario  - 

Wind down the economic waterfall, and the impact of a higher Canadian interest rate to the used-car market is clear.

Canadian used-car prices will be heading downward, but the vehicles themselves will no longer be making that move.

An increased interest rate means a stronger Canadian dollar, and with less disparity between the U.S. and Canadian dollars, the proposition of exporting hundreds of thousands of cars to Canada’s southern neighbor becomes less appealing for the U.S. — resulting in lower used-car prices up north.

That’s the take of Canadian Black Book analyst Brian Murphy, who outlined these thoughts in a perspective the company provided to media.

Murphy, who is CBB’s vice president of research and editorial, was explaining the potential auto industry effects from the 0.25-percent interest rate bump that Bank of Canada Gov. Stephen Poloz revealed two weeks ago.

While touching on potentially higher new-car prices for consumers down the road, Murphy argues the more significant impact is the increased value of the Canadian dollar — which has already climbed $0.06 in the past two months, he said — and how that might impact used-car prices.

For starters, it drives down new-car sales, eventually slowing used-car prices, Murphy explains.

“As the strength of our dollar had been declining since 2013, U.S. interest in Canadian used vehicles increased,” Murphy said in the analysis. “Depending on who you ask, upwards of 200,000 vehicles have been being exported to the U.S. annually.

“U.S. buyers and/or Canadian exporters have been taking full advantage of a lower Canadian dollar and been moving vehicles across the border to sell at a higher price in the States versus here at home. This export demand has inflated our used-car prices domestically,” he said.

Fewer pull-aheads

Stronger used-car prices are motivation for dealers to get consumers out of their current lease or loan early, then sell that pre-owned unit at this elevated price and sell the customer a new car, he explained.

Also potentially at play, Murphy said, is that the very nature of high used-car prices mean more consumers have equity in their car, which gives the lease/loan “pull forward” activity more credence.

But don’t expect this to last, he said.

“At some point soon, the rising Canadian dollar and falling U.S. used vehicle prices will make it unattractive for U.S. buyers to purchase Canadian inventory in such large volumes,” Murphy said. “The impact to the Canadian auto industry will be a slowdown of ‘pull forward’ activity, as it won’t make economic sense to pull as many consumers out of their vehicles early because they won’t command such high prices on the used market.”

Lower prices all-around

The approximate “tipping point” where Canadian exports to the U.S. would decline dramatically is a $0.85 dollar, according to Canadian Black Book.

The gain in off-lease volume in the U.S. this year is around 500,000 units, Murphy said, also pointing out that Black Book’s U.S. used-car price index is down 10 percent year-over-year.

 “The U.S. vehicle market is bracing for a large downward adjustment in used prices,” Murphy said. “Add in a stronger Canadian dollar, driving up acquisition costs, and there will be less demand in the U.S. for Canadian used vehicles.”

And eventually lower prices.

“On the positive side, Canadian used-vehicle shoppers and used vehicle dealers will be rewarded with better deals in the market compared to what they have seen over the last few years,” he said.

 

2 factors to push used prices 9% lower by 2020

STAMFORD, Conn. - 

RVI Group’s Risk Outlook for June found that real used-vehicle prices in Canada decreased in May on a year-over-year basis. Analysts place the exact downward movement at just 0.4 percent.

When compared to April, the May softening was a bit more notable, as RVI Group pinpointed the dip at 1.5 percent.

Among higher volume segments, analysts found that full-size pickup prices increased the most on a year-over-year basis in May, ticking up by 6.9 percent. Meanwhile, sub-compact car prices decreased 5.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.

In May, the report noted the exchange rate was $0.73 USD/CAD, down from $0.74 USD/CAD in April. RVI Group also mentioned Canadian GDP grew in the first quarter to an annual rate of 3.7 percent from 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter.

However, the report recapped that new-vehicle sales declined, with a 1.87 million unit SAAR being recorded in the month of April.

“We expect that a stronger Canadian dollar, along with the growing supply of off-lease vehicles, will continue to put downward pressure on used-car prices, which are expected to decline by 9.0 percent from current levels by 2020,” RVI Group said in the report.

Mobials introduces valuation tool powered by Canadian Black Book

CARY, N.C. - 

Mobials recently debuted Tradesii, its trade-in valuation tool for dealer websites that is powered by Canadian Black Book.

Tradesii was first launched in April as the exclusive on-site trade-in valuation tool for more than 3,000 dealers on Kijiji.ca.

More than 200 Canadian dealers have already signed on to the service, roughly over 3 percent of the Canadian dealer market, according to Mobials.

Mobials president Marty Meadows said that Tradesii is a truly Canadian experience.

“It is built by Canadians, for Canadian car dealers,” Meadows told AuSM Canada in a phone interview.

“This is probably the most important piece of it all, we use the No. 1 trusted brand for values, for Canadian consumers — Canadian Black Book. If you're searching Google, ‘What’s the value of my trade?’ what will come up in search is Canadian Black Book. So we partnered with the best brand with the best values, to hope the best consumer experience.”

Consumers visiting dealer websites fitted with Tradesii are offered the opportunity view their trade-in value in exchange for providing their information.

“It's valued for value,” Meadows added.

The Tradesii report also provides the average asking price of similar vehicles that are listed on CanadianBlackBook.com, allowing car shoppers to see what their current vehicle would list for at retail.

The lead and the specifics on vehicles searched for on Tradesii during car shoppers’ website visit is passed on to the dealer.

What dealers get from Tradesii is highly convertible leads that convert to sales, according to Meadows.

Meadows said his top dealer pulled 56 leads, and their ROI was 56-to-one.

“We are very happy with ROI thus far related to Tradesii. In comparison to our legacy trade-in calculator, I believe our web leads have increased tenfold and I know our Kijiji leads are up over three times,” Larry Hudson Chevrolet Buick GMC dealer principal Sean Hudson said in a Mobials news release.

“We have three dealer sites all using the tool and our issue now is fully capitalizing on the spike in leads, which is a good problem to have.”

For additional information about Tradesii and its specific offerings visit, .

Shoppers demand trust & transparency during car-buying process

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - 

CarGurus recently released a survey that found trust to be a leading factor for consumers when shopping for expensive purchases, such as cars. 

“Survey respondents indicated that the car shopping process is very much in need of increased transparency if dealers are to win the trust of Canadian car shoppers,” the car research and shopping site said in a news release announcing the survey.

When asked which major purchases, such as a car, home, mortgage or event tickets yielded the most transparent information on price, CarGurus said: “only obtaining a mortgage (7 percent) fared worse than car buying (9 percent).”

More than a third of Canadians' trust in a seller fades away if the store price is greater than what they read advertised online, according to the survey.

23 percent of respondents said a detailed cost breakdown would increase their trust in a seller and 31 percent said they determine trustworthiness by word of mouth.

Consumers use both price information and customer reviews to make their opinions and decisions, the survey found. 

Nearly half of Canadians rely on customer reviews to determine if a website is trustworthy, according to CarGurus.

Additionally, 40 percent of survey respondents said when researching expensive items online the appearance of both positive and negative customer reviews make the process more transparent and trustworthy.

"Establishing trust goes a long way with consumers, particularly those making big purchases," CarGurus senior vice president of consumer marketing Sarah Welch said. "In our experience at CarGurus, we've seen just how much transparency – providing reliable, easily accessible customer reviews, engaging with negative reviews and keeping updated price information across online inventory platforms – enhances the consumer shopping experience, and in turns benefits dealers."

How wholesale prices trended in April

CARY, N.C. - 

How did used-car prices trend last month?

A pair of indices released this week sheds some light.

According to a report accompanying the ADESA Canada Used Vehicle Price Index — powered by ALG — there was a 0.12-percent month-over-month gain in wholesale prices.

Of the six segments included in the report, however, just two showed price growth for the month.

Mid-compacts were up 2.1 percent from March and full-size pickups were up 0.5 percent. The midsize segment was down 2.9 percent, minivans were off 8.6 percent, compact SUVs fell 1 percent and midsize SUVs dipped 0.2 percent.

Over at Cox Automotive, there was a 5.3-point dip in the Manheim Canada index. However, the index remained up by 1.8 points year-over-year.

Manheim Canada said the sports cars had the strongest monthly decline at 68.3 points. Most segments were down on a monthly basis,  the company said, with the lone exception being pickups, which climbed 6.4 points.

Compact pickups had the greatest gain within that class, climbing 23.3 points.

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