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February Wholesale Prices Down From January

March 13, 2014

CARMEL, Ind. — Tom Kontos, chief economist for ADESA Analytical Services, reported Wednesday that wholesale car prices were atypically down in February vs. January. However, they were modestly up on a year-over-year basis.

The year-over-year increase occurred despite continued wholesale supply growth, coupled with weaker retail demand due to severe weather conditions, according to Kontos’ Kontos Kommentary report.

“This unusual pattern would indicate that dealers were fairly aggressive in proactively bidding in-lane and online for the vehicles they need for the budding spring market, especially highly certifiable off-rental program vehicles remarketed by auto manufacturers,” he stated.

Wholesale used-vehicle prices in the month of February averaged $9,839, down 1.4% compared to January but up 0.9% relative to February 2013, according to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis. The only segments that experienced both monthly and annual price gains were compact cars and vans, which are popular rental and fleet vehicles.

Kontos also noted that prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers were up 1.3% month over month and up 6.3% year over year. Prices for fleet and lease consignors were down 0.5% sequentially but up 1.1% annually, while dealer consignors realized a 1.1% average price decrease vs. January. However the segment did realize a 0.9% uptick vs. February 2013.

Conversely, retail used-vehicle sales were down 15.6 percent month over month due to severe weather, CNW Marketing/Research reported.

Additionally, sales of certified pre-owned vehicles in February were up 7.7 percent from the prior month and up 14.1 percent from the prior year, based on figures from Autodata. “The strong certified sales may have been a factor in strong pricing for off-rental program units sold by the manufacturers,” Kontos noted.

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