Price moves reflect dealers hunting to replace damaged inventory


Damage by the horrific hurricanes impacting the United States during the past two weeks is starting to influence what Black Book is noticing at the auction.

This week’s Black Book Market Insights report showed a little strengthening in the wholesale space; most likely due to dealers looking to begin replacing damaged or destroyed vehicles caused by Harvey and Irma.

“Dealers are actively looking to buy inventory and shipping vehicles to the Houston area, anticipating strong demand due to replacement of damaged units,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics.

Looking at volume-weighted data, editors found that overall car segment values decreased by 0.27 percent last week, better than the average weekly decrease of 0.49 percent in values spotted during the previous four weeks.

Black Book reported that the prestige luxury car and near luxury car segments declined the most by 0.62 percent and 0.46 percent, respectively.

Again viewing volume-weighted information, editors determined overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs and vans ticked 0.15 percent lower last week, an improvement compared to the average weekly decrease of 0.33 percent in values registered during the previous four weeks.

Black Book added that the sub-compact crossover segment declined the most among truck segments, dropping by 0.66 percent.

Beyond the raw data, Black Book’s observers in the lanes watched how dealers who needed inventory because of the storms made moves to get necessary inventory. Editors shared multiple reports coming out of Georgia.

“We would have expected the market to soften after Labor Day, instead values for some model years and segments are moving upward sooner than expected as demand picked up due to hurricane damage,” one lane watcher said.

Another report from the Peach State indicated, “Dealers from Texas were seen buying cars here because they can’t find cars in their area.”

And one more observer stationed in Georgia added, “Rental car units were lower in auctions as they were put back in rental use and the ones for sale had higher miles.”

The other two Black Book representatives who reported back to headquarters this past week shared anecdotes out of the Midwest.

One came from Michigan, which noted, “Retail is slow here, therefore dealers are being very picky in their wholesale purchases. Lots of hesitation as they place their bids.”

A recap out of Illinois mentioned, “A seller expressed that it was a great day for older vehicles and an exceptional day for clean vehicles.” 

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