Truck and SUV demand heats up as spring selling season nears


Black Book’s latest wholesale price data and anecdotes from the lanes offered vivid details about what’s happening when clean trucks and SUVs roll over the block.

This week’s Black Book Market Insights report also indicated overall values are holding up well as the industry approaches the spring selling season.

“Lower mileage trucks and SUVs continue to be in demand. We are seeing consignors holding out for more money on their units to drive up prices," said Anil Goyal, senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics at Black Book.

Black Book’s volume-weighted data showed overall car segment values decreased by 0.58 percent last week, better than the average weekly decrease of 0.69 percent in values over the previous four weeks.

Editors determined the midsize car segment performed the best, decreasing the least in value; just $10 or 0.13 percent. Meanwhile on the opposite end of the spectrum, they spotted sizeable declines for luxury cars ($163 or 0.93 percent), prestige luxury cars ($172 or 0.54 percent) and premium sporty cars ($247 or 0.63 percent).

Turning next to volume-weighted truck data, Black Book reported that overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs, and vans — decreased by 0.46 percent last week, slightly better than the average weekly decrease of 0.52 percent in values noticed during the previous four weeks.

Editors found that compact van segment performed the worst, decreasing the most in value among all the truck segments at $152 or 1.89 percent.

As Goyal references, the talk in the lanes is about how dealers are craning their necks at the sale if a gently used truck or SUV is being consigned.

Beginning in Massachusetts, Black Book’s observer said, “Overall the money was pretty good. Trucks, crossovers, and full-size SUVs all sold well.”

Over in Pennsylvania, the grip of winter is leaving a mark as the Black Book lane watcher shared, “New-car sales are still slow with the bad weather being a factor. Improving weather and a robust tax season will be welcome.”

In another cold-weather location — Michigan — sale activity seemed to be much warmer than the temperature outside as Black Book’s representative stated, “Michigan dealers are stocking up on inventory but out of state buyers are making a lot of the on-line purchases due to the high demand in their market.”

Sliding South to the Sunshine State, Black Book’s report out of Florida indicated, “Buyers at the auction are purchasing only what they need. They are mainly looking for trucks and SUVs with good miles."

Finally, like the price of fuel, the higher costs when the hammer fell in California took more out of dealers’ pockets and floor plan as Black Book noted, “Not enough quality vehicles available to meet the demand, so prices remain high.”

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