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Larger Vehicles in Demand this Spring, Black Book Reports

April 09, 2015

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — According to Black Book data, the average price of a used vehicle for model years 2009-2013 depreciated by an average of -0.7% during March, slightly less depreciation than during February.

Domestic cars increased +0.9%; import cars changed -0.9%; domestic trucks changed -0.3%; and import trucks changed -0.9%. Average pre-recession annual depreciation was continually recorded between -15% and -18%, and Black Book expects 2015 depreciation near -14.5%.

Luxury SUVs saw the largest segment depreciation during March at -1.5%. Vehicles in this segment include the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, Infiniti QX56, Mercedes-Benz G Class and Lexus LX. Vehicles in this segment finished the month with an average price of $34,597, a -13.0% change from year-ago levels ($39,770). Cargo minivans also finished the month at -1.5% depreciation.

Full-size passenger vans saw the strongest retention during March at +1.5%. Vehicles in this segment include the Dodge Sprinter, Freightliner Sprinter, Ford E-Series and Chevrolet G-Series. Vehicles in this segment finished March with an average price of $19,468, a +3.3% increase from year-ago levels ($18,848).

Showing the continued effects from the spring tax buying season, three cars (entry-level car +0.1%; upper mid-size car +0.6%; full-size car +0.9%) saw increases on the month. They were joined by three trucks also showing monthly increases (full-size cargo vans +0.9%; compact CUV +1.1%; full-size passenger vans +1.5%).

Premium sports cars were the car segment with the largest depreciation on the month at -1.2%. Vehicles in this segment include the BMW 6-Series, Chevrolet Corvette, Mercedes-Benz SL and Cadillac XLR. Vehicles in this segment finished the month at $46,147, a -13.3% change from a year ago ($53,242).

“Both car and truck values held up high throughout November and December of 2014. This early buying took the steam out of the usual spring time seasonality increase and resulted in more stable prices over the last few months,” said Anil Goyal, vice president of Automotive Valuation and Analytics. “The data also show that slightly larger cars were in more demand this tax season, perhaps as a result of low gas prices and improved overall strength in the broader economy.”

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