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Kontos: Wholesale Prices Up Year Over Year, Down From September

November 16, 2016

CARMEL, Ind. — Wholesale used-vehicle prices in October averaged $10,499, a decline from September but a 3% increase on a year-over-year basis, according to ADESA Analytical Services.

In October, the average wholesale used-vehicle price for a car fell by 1.2% compared to the year before. Trucks, on the other hand, continued to realize year-over-year increases in wholesale price, rising 5.1% from a year ago.

On a month-over-month basis, however, nearly all truck segments — except for full-size SUV/CUV’s — saw a decline in average price. This, Kontos noted, signaled that the generally softening wholesale price environment is beginning to affect trucks.

“The softening wholesale price environment became more apparent in October, as wholesale supply continues to grow while retail demand weakened,” said KAR Auction Services Chief Economist Tom Kontos.

Average prices of used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers were down 0.9% compared to September, but they were up 8.6% compared to the same time last year. Additionally, both franchised and independent dealers experienced 14% to 15% month-over-month decreases in used-vehicle sales, according to NADA data. However, year-to-date, retail used-vehicle sales remain up 4.2%.

In the certified pre-owned space, October sales were down on a year-over-year and month-over-month basis. Year over year, sales were up 3.2% but down 0.7% on a month-over-month basis, according to Autodata.

October also marked the first time this year that new-vehicle sales were down compared to the same time last year. This, Kontos added, may indicate that the industry won’t be seeing another record-breaking year for auto sales.

“For the first time this year, new-vehicle sales on a year-to-date basis fell below last year's levels, indicating that total sales in 2016 may not match the 2015 record of 17.5 million," Kontos said. "However, the decline from that all-time high should be moderate.”

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