March 2015 Wholesale Used Car Values Trend Report


Wholesale used vehicle prices for March declined by 0.5% over February 2015 on a seasonally adjusted basis, but were practically unchanged over this time last year, according to auction-house, Manheim.

On a quarterly basis, Q1, 2015 was 1.6% higher than the preceding quarter (Q4 2014) and 1.3% up over the same period, last year.  Dealers appeared to have been willing to pay higher wholesale prices because of strong retail pricing trends.

Used Vehicle Sales

Retail used vehicle unit sales for March appear to be unchanged over last year.  In fact, according to Manheim, dealers retailing vehicles priced $18k and above fared better than those selling lower-priced units.  Manufacturer Certified-Pre-Owned (CPO) sales also continued their blistering pace, posting an 8% gain in March over the prior month and 11% year to date.

It is possible that lower tax refunds this year, compared to last year, adversely impacted dealers selling lower priced units.  The IRS issued $2.3 Billion less in refunds than last year, a decline of 1.1%.

Rental Car Pricing Declines from a Year Ago

March auction prices on Rental Units were down 4.2% over last year, despite increasing over February this year.  The decline, according to Manheim is explained by lower seasonal movement this year, when compared to last year.  Rental unit pricing on a sales basis, was down 2% over last year for the first quarter of 2015.

The number of rental units sold at auction for both March and Q1 2015 was up markedly over last year.  Conversion rates also improved according to Manheim.

Pricing by Vehicle Segment

In terms of vehicle segments, wholesale pricing for compact cars has been weak in recent months as well over the past year.  Vans and pickup trucks have been the star performers.

For price tiers, Manheim reports weakness in the $9k-$11k range and strong performance in the $15k+ range.

Posted by: Farra Majid on Monday, April 20th, 2015 at 6:12 pm in INDUSTRY