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Subprime Buyers Drive Up Used-Car Values

November 22, 2011

A 39 percent increase in subprime buyers in October drove used-car values up 18 percent compared to the same month a year ago, reported CNW Research. The Bandon, Ore.-based research firm said the news bodes well for used-vehicle sales in 2012.

Total value of all used cars in all channels (franchised, independent and private party) hit $28 billion. Buy here, pay here dealers accounted for 14.5 percent of total deliveries.

The bump in subprime purchases, growing buy here, pay here stats and a growing supply of younger used models all point to a near-40 million-unit year for used-vehicle sales in 2012, CNW noted. Also bolstering the firm’s forecast is the drop in the average delay in making a used-vehicle acquisition, which fell by 40 percent to 2.3 months from last year’s 3.9 months.

“While this month’s used sales won’t be a barn burner, the outlook is pretty good for 2012,” wrote CNW’s Art Spinella in his firm’s monthly newsletter. “Add the improved position for used-vehicle acquisitions on consumer Wish Lists for 2012 and the industry could be well on the verge of breaking that 40 million-unit mark.”

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