The Black Book Market Insights report released Tuesday had this anecdote from auction lane commentary in Georgia:
“SUVs flooded the lanes today. In general, prices remained high as the stability of the market continues."
Strong and stable. Such was the wholesale market last week.
Wholesale prices were fairly steady, according to that Black Book report, which said values for car segments were down 0.08% last week (volume-weighted) and truck prices were up 0.09% (volume-weighted).
In the preceding four weeks, car prices had climbed an average of 0.18% and trucks had an average gain of 0.11%.
“Prices barely moved last week as the consignors held on to the floors,” Black Book executive vice president of operations Anil Goyal said in the analysis. “The demand for used vehicles continues to be strong.”
In a similar analysis released last week, Black Book’s Used Vehicle Retention Index continued to show sequential softness, but used-vehicle prices are still performing better on a year-over-year basis.
The index reading for April (113.6) was down 0.2% from March, which was the fifth straight month-over-month decline.
However, the index was up 1.4% year-over-year. Through April, the index has climbed on a year-over-year basis each month of 2019.
“That the Index has declined for five straight months and it is still slightly higher than where it was a year ago is a testament to the sheer strength in the market we saw throughout 2018,” Goyal said in that analysis. “Much of the 2018 activity was spurred by economic strength, resulting in significant demand for affordable used sedan values. It will be difficult to replicate that activity over the remainder of 2019.”
The latest Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index was also released last week. At 138.4 for April, it was up 4.5% year-over-year. The analysis indicates that wholesale prices were up 1.81% sequentially for the month, adjusted for mix, mileage and seasonality.
There was the usual spring bounce to kick off the month, the company said, citing its own Manheim Market Report weekly data. There were hikes in the aggregate prices of 3-year-old vehicles during the first two weeks, followed by stability toward the end of the month.
Mainstream segments, however, were “continuing to see gains.”
Again, the Manheim index was up 4.5% year-over-year in April. Breaking that down by select segments, compact cars climbed 2.3%, midsize cars were up 5.8%, luxury cars climbed 2.4% and pickups jumped 5.3%.
SUVs and CUVs were up 3.3%, while van values dropped 2.2%.