Used-vehicle sales are likely to reach 39.0 million for full-year 2019, still a healthy tally, but it would be down 1.1% from last year.
That’s according to Oliver Strauss, who is chief economist for the ALG subsidary at TrueCar.
There were 39.43 million used-car sales last year, he said.
“Overall demand for vehicles has gone down in 2019 -- we are seeing that on the new car side as well; that said, 39.0 million is still strong historically,” Strauss said in emailed comments.
In late June, Cox Automotive said it was expecting used-car sales to come in at 39.2 million this year, down a bit from the 39.4 million used sales in both 2017 and 2018. Further out, they’re expecting 39.0 million used-car sales in 2020.
As for what tends to impact used-car sales, Strauss said it can be affected by fluctuations in lease and fleet sales from the past one to three years, as well as other macro influences like the interest rate.
“Depending on the number of vehicles that were leased or went into fleet 1-3 years ago, the number of off lease and off fleet vehicles returning into the used supply can affect overall sales,” he said.
“Market factors such as interest rate can also affect demand and whether consumers purchase a new or a used vehicle. Vehicle interest rates have been higher this year compared to previous years,” Strauss said. “The Fed just reduced interest rates by 0.25 BPS, which will help, but it is still higher than previous years even with the reduction.
“Another factor is consumer preference for a new versus a used vehicle. Consumers will calculate their payment for a used car and compare it with what it would be for a new car and make a determination based on overall value, when accounting for interest rates, incentives and prices,” he said.
In a forecast released in late July, ALG was calling for 3.33 million used-car sales for the month, which would have been even with June and a 0.8% dip from July 2018.
Over at Edmunds, analysts were projecting 3.4 million used-car sales for July, compared to 3.3 million in June. The resulting seasonally adjusted annualized rate was projected at 39.6 million, against 39.5 million the previous month.