Dealers see rougher units in the lanes as values even out


As August closed and the quality of vehicles in the lanes deteriorated a bit, the new Black Book Market Insights report showed vehicle values didn’t soften quite as much as they had earlier in the month.

Beginning with volume-weighted car data, editors determined that overall car segment values declined by 0.36 percent last week. In comparison, depreciation backed off the preceding five-week average of 0.52 percent.

Within the car segments, Black Book found that sporty and full-size car segments had the poorest weekly retention rates, decreasing by 0.81 percent and 0.60 percent, respectively. These two segments, accompanied by compact cars, were the only segments to receive steeper depreciation rates compared to the prior week, according to the report.

Taking a look at trucks, editors indicated that volume-weighted information showed overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs and vans — decreased by 0.25 percent last week. For comparison, the previous five-week average for truck segments came in at 0.33 percent.

Among the truck segments, sub-compact crossover values fell 0.65 percent, followed by compact luxury crossover/SUV and minivan segments, both dropping 0.50 percent.

Moving along to the anecdotes Black Book representatives picked up while at the auction, recaps from two different regions of the country noted how rougher units are rolling over the block.

“A high percentage of edgy condition vehicles appeared in the auction today. Too many cars needing paint work, and frame damage vehicles were present, which resulted in a low sales percentage,” said Black Book’s lane watcher in Massachusetts.

Down in Georgia, a similar story appeared as Black Book shared, “Attendance was normal for early fall today. There was disappointment regarding the condition of the vehicles offered and the amount of no-sales was up.”

Before talk of Hurricane Irma began to dominate the scene in Florida, two of Black Book’s representatives in the Sunshine State collected these observations.

“Retail is beginning to drag here, which is translating into more vehicles being passed on at the auction. That being said dealers continue to buy good, clean, low- mile units to fill the holes in their inventory,” the first Florida report said.

The other recap added, “Late model rental and off lease sales carried an otherwise average auction. I spoke with several dealers who are looking for clean, older vehicles with a desirable price point for their retail lots. Competition is strong for this segment of the market.”

Finally, the stories from the lanes wrapped up in the Midwest with this observation in Indiana: “Low consignment seems to have become the norm with many more buyers than sellers. Trucks continue to be scarce along with the really nice units.”

Specialty report

As Black Book does on a monthly basis, editors shared their assessments of the speciality markets. Here is the rundown:

—Collectible Cars: Editors said the collectible car auctions held on the Monterey Peninsula in mid-August were very successful, especially at the top end of the vintage exotic market.

—Recreational Vehicles: Black Book found that the auction results last month were “a bit surprising.” Editors continued with, “Towable values did exactly what we expected them to, but motorized units, which should also be declining, shot up nearly 15 percent.”

—Powersports: Editors indicated the Powersports market continues to see downward pressure on pricing in all segments as the market heads into the fall.

—Heavy-Duty: Editors summarized this segment by saying: “We’ll see if the current fairly stable value decreases hold up when new trucks start to ship and more out of service units become available.”

—Medium-Duty: Finally, Black Book surmised here that the wholesale market continues its downward trend as it inches closer toward fall. “This past month we experienced a bit more depreciation than we did in June,” editors said.

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