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Strong Demand Buoys Wholesale Prices in November, Kontos Reports

December 19, 2013

CARMEL, Ind. — Strong retail demand continued to buoy wholesale used-vehicle prices in November, as average prices rose on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis, Tom Kontos, ADESA Analytical Services’ chief economist, reported this week.

According to the firm’s monthly analysis, wholesale used-vehicle prices in November averaged $9,750, up 1.7% vs. October and up 2.1% from the year-ago period. Minivan prices were particularly strong, reflecting an influx of well-equipped, good-condition, late-model units from rental and commercial “defleeting.”

“Some of the increase is due to a shift in the mix of vehicles being sold at auction toward younger off-rental and off-lease units as opposed to older dealer consigned vehicles,” Kontos noted in his report. “Still, the price buoyancy is encouraging to cosigners who have been bracing themselves for price softening in light of increasing vehicle supply, and to dealer buyers who are profitably retailing these units.”

Prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers were up 3.6% month over month and up 3% year over year. Prices for fleet/lease cosigners were up 0.4% vs. October and up 5.1% from a year ago. Dealer cosigners realized a 0.8% average price increase versus October 2013, but a 0.8% decrease vs. a year ago.

And based on data from CNW Research, retail used-vehicle sales were down 1% month over month but up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis in November. Similarly, sales of certified pre-owned vehicles were down 0.7% from the prior month but up 19.3% from the prior year.

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