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Used Pricing Outpacing New Pricing on Some 2011 Models, NADAGuides Reports

October 4, 2011

The NADAguides has discovered a new trend emerging from the inventory shortages of used vehicles: used 2011 models are our touting higher retail values than their original MSRP prices.

The vehicle research site noted that more than 100 used 2011 models have retail values that surpass their 2011 MSRP price, with some used models valued up to 39 percent higher.

“More consumers are researching new vehicles than anticipated,” said Troy Snyder, director of product development at NADAguides. “Further analysis by our analysts revealed this trend of 2011 vehicles yielding higher used retail pricing than the original manufacturer suggested retail price, unveiling why many consumers may be in the market for a new 2011 vehicle instead of a used.”

New-car sales over the last three years have been significantly lower due to the economy, and   lease returns have become much lighter as more consumers are taking advantage of affordable prices to buy out the vehicle, according to NADAguides. Additionally, the earthquake in Japan caused a shortage of new 2011 model-year vehicles, which led to decreased availability of used 2011 models. It also prompted dealerships to increase new-car prices for these vehicles.

The price increase for new-vehicle models may have deterred consumers from the new-car market, pushing them into the used car market, according to NADAguides. Of the 107 models identified by NADAguides as having higher used retail prices than new MSRP prices, 48.5 percent are sedans or coupes, 37.3 percent are sport utility vehicles, and the remaining 14 percent are trucks and vans. Additionally, 27 of the 107 vehicles are luxury models — roughly 25 percent.

“With a lower supply of 2011 model year vehicles and increased used vehicle prices, coupled with manufacturers trying to keep prices competitive — it was only a matter of time before the used prices surpassed MSRP,” Snyder said.

During times of low consumer confidence, used-vehicle demand isn’t as negatively affected. That’s because, traditionally, used vehicles become an attractive lower cost option, according to NADAguides. With this emerging trend of used-retail prices being higher than MSRP, however, it is possible that this trend may not change until the market is righted.

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