Black Book has posted a new report with COVID-19 Market Updates (as of 3/26/2020) for the Specialty Markets (including Powersports, Collectible Cars, Recreational Vehicles, and Electric Vehicles).

Cars of Particular Interest (CPI) 

  • Auctions: Mecum’s sale in Arizona last week was reasonably well attended and had a typical sales percentage. Their next sales have all been postponed to at least May. Barrett-Jackson has postponed their Palm Beach sale until fall, and RM has adjusted their next sale to be online only. Online auction site Bring A Trailer is currently operating, and bidding is steady. 
  • Value Trends: RM Sotheby’s Palm Beach online auction has been changed to an online format and is underway this week, and for the most part, it looks like most of the lots are currently around 50-75% of estimate. Several are no reserve. 


  • Auctions: As with the auto auctions, the Powersports auctions are also being forced to move to digital platforms or close completely based on county and state stay-at-home orders. Manheim and National Powersports Auctions (NPA) are currently conducting sales at all locations as scheduled, but online only with minimal staffing for pickup, processing, and delivery. ADESA has suspended all sales until April 3rd. 
  • Manufacturer Reactions: 
    • Harley–Davidson suspended production at US facilities for two weeks after an employee tested positive for Coronavirus. In addition, they have cancelled all company sponsored events until April. 
    • Ducati and Yamaha (US and Europe) have suspended production. 
    • Arctic Cat was forced to close their Minnesota plant due to a lack of parts from overseas. 
    • Polaris saw a decline in demand in early March, so they cut back production, but they have continued to produce vehicles to meet the demand for the government/military. They are also offering dealership assistance by waiving floor plan interest. 
    • Triumph America is also helping their dealers by covering floor plan interest for April and May. 
  • Dealership Updates: As with the automotive industry, due to county and state mandates, many dealerships are having to close their sales departments or have had to alter the way they interact with customers, such as altering showroom hours and requiring appointments. Some manufacturers have also started waiving restrictions on home delivery of units to help dealers move inventory. 
  • Value Trends: With many dealerships being required to close their doors or shift to an appointment-only model, sales are down, and as the Powersports auction data starts to roll-in, we anticipate the values will show declines. 

Recreational Vehicles (RVs)

  • Auctions: Manheim is currently simulcast only, and ADESA is closed until early April. Some Independents are still operating as local regulations allow. 
  • Manufacturer Reactions: 
    • Winnebago and others have suspended production of new units. However, Winnebago is remaining open for parts and retail dealer support. 
    • Thor Industries, which makes up roughly a third of the US RV market, has suspended production as well as Forest River. 
    • Indiana, where many RVs are made, has listed RV Manufacturing as an “essential business,” and companies can operate at their discretion. Several suppliers are also continuing to operate. 
  • Dealership Updates: As with the automotive industry, in some counties and states, dealerships are being forced to close their sales departments to comply with the stay-at-home orders. Many dealerships are also encouraging consumers to do their buying online, and they will deliver to the customer’s home. Some are offering special financing terms. 
  • Value Trends: As we await the latest data to arrive, we anticipate that, as with the other markets, there will be softening in the values. 

Electric Vehicles 

  • OEM Reaction: Tesla is the largest producer of electric vehicles and, so far, they have not released any existing customer support or incentives for new customers to purchase right now. 
  • Value Trends: Wholesale values had been on a decline, especially on newer model year units, due to new car incentives driving retail prices down. This, coupled with the falling fuel prices, has led many remarketers to put a hold on selling these units on the auction lanes right now.
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