FirstLook Forecasts Automotive Wholesale Market Will Continue to Soften Through End of 2009

Wholesale "Bull Market" Peaked in Mid-September: Data Shows 27% Increase in Aging Inventory and 26% Decrease in Pre-Owned Automotive Sales in Past 30 Days

Oct 26, 2009, 09:00 ET from FirstLook




CHICAGO, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Automotive Wholesale "Bull Market" peaked in mid-September and wholesale values are likely to continue to soften for the remainder of 2009 due to declining showroom traffic, lower pre-owned retail sales and an overhang of aged inventory on dealer lots according to recent study by FirstLook, the pioneer in automotive retail performance solutions. The crack in the 2009 wholesale market came in the wake of the end of the "Cash for Clunkers" program, which was feared to have pulled existing demand forward instead of stimulating dramatic new demand. The FirstLook study was based on several critical factors including:


  • FirstLook's analysis of Pre-Owned inventory shows that aging inventory (at least 60 days in stock) has risen by 27% since the end of August. This analysis was performed on hundreds of thousands of pre-owned vehicles from a national sample of dealers across all major brands and regions, looking at trending since the beginning of August.
  • FirstLook's findings are further supported by CNW Research, which reported a 26% decrease in pre-owned retail sales on a same-store basis from August to September, 2009 for franchised dealers nationwide. Tellingly, this was also a year over year decrease in sales of 15% from September, 2008.
  • Additional findings from FirstLook analysis of industry wholesale data indicates wholesale values for later model vehicles are down nearly $1,000 on average, from peak. Moreover, FirstLook industry sources indicate that auction no-sale rates have risen dramatically in the last 30 days.


"With a jolt in pre-owned vehicle demand surrounding Cash for Clunkers, the wholesale market is in the midst of a post-'Clunker' hangover," said Pat Ryan, Founder and CEO of FirstLook. "The last 30 days have seen a dramatic decrease in pre-owned retail sales amidst a softening of wholesale values while aging inventory has climbed to an alarming level. This aged inventory overhang is most likely going to result in a further softening of the wholesale market through the end of 2009."


Combining years of industry and analytical expertise with the most comprehensive market intelligence sources available, FirstLook 360 degree Market Navigation(TM) provides comprehensive market intelligence and insight that enables partners, customers and other participants in the automotive space to stay at the forefront of the market and ahead of competitors. FirstLook's 360 degree Market Navigation Alerts come out at critical times to provide business acumen into the pre-owned retail and wholesale markets ahead of the consensus.


While some competitors' limited market view has led them to make wildly inaccurate market predictions in these challenging times, FirstLook's 360 degree Market Navigation has gained a solid reputation for providing provocative and accurate market insight including:


  • On September 2, 2008 FirstLook's 360 degree Market Navigation Alert warned of a major decline in wholesale values for the remainder of 2008, providing our clients with a jump on the market in managing their risk.
  • FirstLook's January 2009 360 degree Market Navigation Alert predicted robust wholesale values for 2009 at a time when others were warning the industry to look for the bottom to fall out of the wholesale market and wait to buy.


"We pride ourselves on the depth and breadth of our market analytics group and the research we conduct in order to help our partners and customers in their planning," said Ryan. "Our current findings tell us that dealers need to keep a close eye on wholesale and retail selling prices by keeping a close pulse on the market. In light of falling retail demand and declining wholesale values, it is critical to retail, price and advertise more aggressively to stay ahead of the competition. The good news is that there will be buying opportunities ahead for savvy dealers. We are pleased that FirstLook dealers have the advantage of industry leading market intelligence and cutting edge tools to navigate today's turbulent market and avoid the mistakes of their competitors."


FirstLook's 360 degree Market Navigation Tools allow dealers to tap market data, and execute pre-owned operations best practices. For more information contact FirstLook at 800-730-5665.


About FirstLook z

FirstLook, by INCISENT Technologies, is the pioneer in Automotive Retail Performance Solutions and the #1 fastest-growing automotive related company in the United States, according to the Inc Magazine's prestigious 2008 INC 500 list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. FirstLook provides industry-leading tools to manage Pre-Owned Operations, Internet Marketing and Retail Performance Training & Best Practices. FirstLook technology is in over 1,600 automotive franchises throughout the United States. FirstLook helps dealers Drive More Traffic from the Internet, Close More Customers More Profitably, Close More Appraisals and Stock More of the "Right Cars" for their lot through cutting edge technology solutions as well as industry leading training and consulting services. For more information, visit or call (800) 730-5665.



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SOURCE FirstLook