Dealers back off inventory build, triggering price reaction

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - 

Whether it’s just a momentary slowdown or the sign of a longer-term dealer trend, Black Book watched vehicle depreciation slightly intensify as store managers opted not to load up on potential inventory coming through the auction.

The latest Black Book Market Insights report shows both car and truck segments decreasing more in value than usual. Although car segments saw an overall larger depreciation, editors noticed two truck segments saw larger price declines as a percentage than any of the car segments.

“Depreciation rates increased on both car and truck segments as buyers become hesitant to load up on inventory,” said Anil Goyal, senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics at Black Book.

Black Book’s representatives in the lanes back up Goyal’s assertion beginning with what the lane watcher in Florida reported back to headquarters.

“More no sales than the past few weeks as buyers don’t seem to be speculating at all,” said the representative in the Sunshine State.

Next door in Georgia, a similar story unfolded as Black Book’s watcher said, “A large quantity buyer says that he will wait until the sellers lower their floor prices, which he believes is just around the corner.”

Out West, the sentiment continued with dealers not ready to gamble in Nevada.

“The market remains good but dealers are cautious about over supplying their retail lots in the event of a downward market pivot,” Black Book’s representative said.

And in Arizona, the lane recap was, “More hesitation in the bidding process this week, which produced a noticeable amount of no sales.”

The impact of those dealer decisions meant that based on volume-weighted data, overall car segment values declined by 0.60 percent last week. In comparison, the market values had decreased on average by 0.41 percent per week in the previous four weeks.

Among cars, editors determined the full-size car and sporty car segments performed the worst, decreasing by 0.94 percent and 0.82 percent, respectively.

Again looking at volume-weighted data, Black Book reported that overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs and vans softened by 0.40 percent last week, worse than the average decrease of 0.25 percent per week recorded during in the previous four weeks.

Among trucks, editors noticed the sub-compact crossover and compact van segments performed the worst last week, dipping by 1.03 percent and 1.13 percent, respectively.

Specialty market update

As the editors do on a monthly basis, Black Book also offered its latest assessment of the specialty segments of the wholesale market. Here is the rundown:

— Collectibles: Editors indicated most segments of the collectible car hobby have done well at the various auctions held so far this fall.

— Recreational vehicles: Black Book reported values of both motorized and towable units sold at wholesale auctions increased once again this past month, “which, as we said last time, is unusual for this time of year,” according to the editors.

— Powersports: Black Book said November finds the powersports market in a leveling off period. “Changes in value this month are more subdued than we have seen recently,” editors added.

— Heavy-duty: Black Book calculated a good supply of units in several segments helped to maintain steady depreciation in October. Editors noted that construction/vocational group values have dropped the most since August, but still bring strong numbers.

— Medium-duty: Black Book acknowledged the wholesale market continues its downward trend. However, some late-model unit prices have stabilized,” editors said.



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