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CNW Reports Used-Car Sales Trends in 2007

December 18, 2007

In its December issue of Retail Automotive Summary, CNW Research reports that new-used car dealers are getting closer to their asking prices for used cars. Through the first 15 days of December, franchised new-car dealers are selling their used cars at nearly 95 percent of the asking price, which is the best percentage price in this segment all year. Independent dealers are also seeing an increase, as they are selling inventory at better than 92 percent of the asking price, which is also the highest percentage for the year for that segment.

CNW also reports another positive note, as both franchised and independent dealers’ transaction prices in the first half of December were the highest of the year, with franchised used-car-sale prices averaging $9,978, while independents average $8,561, which is an increase over 2006 transaction prices of $9,560 and $8,280, respectively.

CNW notes the first half of December shows an increase in used-car sales compared to last year, saying if the first 15 days of the month are any indication used-vehicle sales could be up close to a half percent versus a year ago. While December sales will be up if the month holds true to form, the full-year used volume would be about 41.5 million units sold, which would be down about 2.4 percent from 2006’s 42.6 million.

The report also points out that Internet sellers are finding a tougher market in 2007, with only 20 percent of those vehicles offered on Web used-car sites such as eBay Motors selling within 30 days. According the report, that compares to between 27 to 28 percent during the previous five years.

The number of used cars and trucks that were financed in 2007 (through November) declined dramatically, as a growing number of buyers relied on cash. Of the 3.2 million sales in November, 50.7 percent (1.6 million units) required some form of a loan. Among franchised new-car dealers’ used-vehicle sales, 58 percent were financed in November vs. 64 percent back in January of this year. In the independent-dealer channel, 52 percent were financed in November vs. 57 percent in January, while about 40 percent of private party sales were financed in November vs. 47 percent in January. Here’s an overall breakdown of the monthly finance sales figures from January through November:

The total used vehicles sold in January 2007 were 2,058,426, with 55.43 percent (1,146,470 units) of those vehicles being financed.

The total used vehicles sold in February 2007 were 1,792,4062 with 54.99 percent (985,582 units) of those vehicles being financed.

The total used vehicles sold in March 2007 were 2,769,511 with 52.53 percent (1,454,819 units) of those vehicles being financed.

The total used vehicles sold in April 2007 were 3,712,691 with 54.48 percent (2,022,631 units) of those vehicles being financed.

The total used vehicles sold in May 2007 were 4,193,624 with 54.84 percent (2,299,702 units) of those vehicles being financed.

The total used vehicles sold in June 2007 were 4,758,301 with 55.18 percent (2,625,615 units) of those vehicles being financed.

The total used vehicles sold in July 2007 were 4,297,513 with 54.47 percent (2,340,754 units) of those vehicles being financed.

The total used vehicles sold in August 2007 were 4,120,619 with 52.25 percent (2,153,143 units) of those vehicles being financed.

The total used vehicles sold in September 2007 were 4,515,356 with 52.16 percent (2,354,994 units) of those vehicles being financed.

The total used vehicles sold in October 2007 were 2,975,214 with 50.73 percent (1,509,355 units) of those vehicles being financed.

The total used vehicles sold in November 2007 were 3,162,438 with 50.69 percent (1,603,139 units) of those vehicles being financed.

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