ATLANTA, Jan. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Wholesale used vehicle prices increased by 0.2 percent in December, bringing the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index – a measure of wholesale prices adjusted for mix, mileage and season – to a reading of 124.9. This represents a decline of 0.6 percent from a year ago. On an annual average basis, the Manheim Index represented a small gain of 0.3 percent – the third consecutive increase.
"The most notable aspect of wholesale pricing in recent years has been the stability," said Tom Webb, chief economist for Cox Automotive. "After a sharp rise in wholesale pricing in 2009 and 2010 coming out of the recession, the absolute year-over-year change in pricing was less than two percentage points in each of the previous six years."
As yet another sign of continuing overall long-term stability in the market, overall wholesale prices have moved only 1.2 percent over the last four years. However, the differences between market classes have been extreme in some cases. Pointing to this, adjusted wholesale prices for pickups have risen 28 percent during this period, while compact car values fell 14 percent.
Fourth quarter wholesale pricing for all vehicle segments included:
- Compact Car prices again represented the biggest pricing decrease of all car classes, which was down 5.6 percent in December as consumer preference continues to shift away from small sedans in favor of crossovers.
- Midsize Cars surfaced as one of the weaker segments compared with last year and showed the second biggest decrease of 3.7 percent.
- SUVs and CUVs decreased 1.2 percent from last December, as wholesale supplies ramped up significantly.
- Pick-ups and Vans – Representing the most significant increase of all market classes, pick-ups had an increase of 4.3 percent, with vans remaining unchanged from a year ago.
- Luxury Car wholesale pricing had a slight decrease of 0.8 percent from a year ago, but remains solid – especially when comparing with the continuing weaker Midsize and Compact classes.
A straight average of auction prices in December for rental risk units sold at auction topped the $17,000 mark for the first time, and was 5 percent higher than a year ago. However, after adjusting rental risk prices for broad shifts in market class and mileage, pricing was 4.4 percent below a year ago. The average mileage on these units sold in December was 38,600 miles and while similar to recent months, it was 13 percent lower than a year ago. The overall condition grade of rental units sold also continued to improve.
New car and light duty trucks sold at seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) of 18.4 million in December, which pushed the full-year total slightly above last year's record. The incentive spend, which jumped significantly in November, remained high in December.
Used unit retail sales by dealers grew by more than 4 percent, their fastest pace of this recovery, while retail new vehicle sales were flat. Experts predict wholesale supplies and lower auction prices will likely push used retail unit sales higher again 2017, resulting in another record profit year for used vehicle operations.
"To round out 2016, the year has illustrated – statistically speaking – the least volatility in wholesale vehicle pricing since the Manheim Index's inception in 1995," said Webb. "This stability has been driven by better, more efficient remarketing practices that have enabled commercial consignors to anticipate, respond to and, in turn, minimize impending swings in wholesale pricing."
Visit Manheim's website to access a variety of company publications, including monthly Auto Industry Briefs, white papers and blog entries by Tom Webb.
About Manheim North America
Manheim® is North America's leading provider of vehicle remarketing services, connecting buyers and sellers to the largest wholesale used vehicle marketplace and most extensive auction network. Through its 115 physical, digital and mobile auction sales, the company helps dealer and commercial clients achieve business results by providing innovative end-to-end inventory solutions. Approximately 18,000 employees enable Manheim to register about 7.5 million used vehicles per year, facilitate transactions representing nearly $50 billion in value and generate annual revenues of more than $2.6 billion. Headquartered in Atlanta, Manheim North America is a Cox Automotive™ brand. For more information, visit http://press.manheim.com.
About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive Inc. is transforming the way the world buys, sells and owns cars with industry-leading digital marketing, software, financial, wholesale and e-commerce solutions for consumers, dealers, manufacturers and the overall automotive ecosystem worldwide. Committed to open choice and dedicated to strong partnerships, the Cox Automotive family includes Autotrader®, Dealer.com®, Dealertrack®, Kelley Blue Book®, Manheim®, NextGear Capital®, vAuto®, Xtime® and a host of other brands. The global company has 33,000 team members in more than 200 locations and is partner to more than 40,000 auto dealers, as well as most major automobile manufacturers, while engaging U.S. consumer car buyers with the most recognized media brands in the industry. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., an Atlanta-based company with revenues of $18 billion and approximately 60,000 employees. Cox Enterprises' other major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications and Cox Media Group. For more information about Cox Automotive, visit www.coxautoinc.com.
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