Wholesale Prices, Week Ending March 25
The market continues to outperform what's traditionally seen this time of year, with the weekly rate of gain taking us back to 2021. However, conversion rates haven't returned to 2021 levels due to sellers raising their floors each week and holding firm on those increases.
This Week Last Week 2017-2019 Average (Same Week)
Car segments +0.61% +0.63% +0.16%
Truck & SUV segments +0.46% +0.43% -0.10%
Market +0.51% +0.49% +0.01%
- On a volume-weighted basis, the overall car segment increased +0.61%. For reference, the previous week, cars increased by +0.63%.
- Eight of the nine car segments increased last week.
- For the first time in 40 consecutive weeks, the premium sporty car segment moved back into positive territory, with an increase of +0.08%. The segment averaged a weekly decline of -0.46% per week, over the last 40 weeks.
- Full-Size (+0.90%), sporty (+0.89%), and compact (+0.88%) car segments reported the largest gains last week.
Truck / SUV Segments
- The volume-weighted overall truck segment increased +0.46%, compared to the prior week’s increase of +0.43%.
- Eleven of the 13 rruck segments reported increases last week.
- The minivan segment reported the largest increase, with a gain of +1.66%. The last time the segment reported that large of a gain was May 2021.
- Compact crossover also had another week with a large gain, increasing +0.86% after the prior two weeks, when it reported increases of +0.92%.
Weekly Wholesale Index
The graphic below looks at trends in wholesale prices of 2- 6-year-old vehicles indexed to the first week of the year. The index is computed keeping the average age of the mix constant to identify market movements.
Calendar years 2020 and 2021 ended with used wholesale prices at elevated levels. With economic patterns, including the automotive market, driven by the pandemic, normal seasonal patterns, i.e. the 2019 calendar year, in the wholesale market were not observed for most of the last three years. We saw a similar picture in 2009 at the end of the Great Recession. Calendar year 2021 did not have typical seasonality patterns, as the market had rapid increases in wholesale values for most of the year. The Wholesale Weekly Price Index reached the highest point of the year at the end of 2021, reporting over 1.51 points. In 2022, the price index was on a mild roller-coaster until July, after which point prices were on a continuous decline until the end of the year.
Retail (Used and New) Insights
- Chevrolet is discontinuing the Camaro for the 2025 model year as we know it now, but it assures enthusiasts that the name will live on with a successor to be announced at a later date.
- The Mini Cooper Clubman is being retired after the 2024 model year, but not before the model has a limited production run of only 1969 “final edition” trims.
- In 2020, the first midengine C8 Corvette crossed the block at the Barrett Jackson auction and brought $3 million for charity. The Corvette is once again heading for Barrett Jackson, but this time it will be the very first Corvette E-, and all proceeds will go to charity. The auction will take place in mid-April in Palm Beach.
- Hyundai and Kia are recalling more than half a million vehicles due to a fire risk associated with the tow hitch harness, and are urging owners to park their vehicles outside.
Used-retail prices are more accessible than in years past due to the proliferation of "no-haggle pricing" for used-vehicle retailing. Transparent pricing upfront makes the car-buying process more enjoyable for customers and allows Black Book to accurately measure retail market trends.
At the onset of the pandemic, in CY2020, used-retail prices increased slightly, following typical seasonal patterns, and then began dropping in April, finally hitting a low point in the late spring months. By late summer of CY2020, used-retail prices increased as supply of new-vehicle inventory started to become scarce, but retail demand slowed at the end of CY2020, resulting in declining retail asking prices for the last several weeks of the year. When CY2021 kicked off, demand rebounded while retail prices lagged slightly behind wholesale prices; March 2021 started the dramatic increases in used-retail prices, fueled by stimulus payments, tax season and shortages of new inventory. During the third quarter, retail prices continued to rise at a slower rate but soon picked up the pace once again to start the fourth quarter, when prices on retail listings steadily increased week after week. As CY2021 ended, the retail listing price index closed 36% above where the year began. The index remained relatively stagnant through most of CY2022. In the fourth quarter, the Retail Listings Price Index declines started, but not as steep as the wholesale price index.
This analysis is based on approximately two million vehicles listed for sale on U.S. dealer lots. The graphic below looks at 2- to 6-year-old vehicles. The index is computed keeping the average age of the mix constant to identify market movements.
The used-retail active listing volume index reverted to one at the start of 2023. Currently, the index sits at 0.96 points.
The Used Retail Days-to-Turn estimate is around 49 days.
For the last six weeks, auction conversion rates have been increasing, but this week they were stable. Sellers are starting to hold tight on some of their floors, and the result is a few more no-sales. The market is still strong, and prices continue to increase. The expectation is that we will see this trend continue in the months to come. As always, the Black Book team will analyze data and watch for any developing trends in the wholesale market.
The Estimated Average Weekly Sales Rate remained at 53% last week.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today
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