Wholesale Prices Continued Monthly Decline in December

January 10, 2018
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Manheim’s used vehicle value index — which tracks how wholesale used vehicle prices change month-to-month — for December came in at 132, 1.91% month-over-month decrease and an increase of 5.6% year-over-year.

This was the lowest value index since August 2017; however, this was more or less expected. The hurricanes, which drove wholesale prices up in the months following, made landfall toward the end of August. Wholesale prices in the months surrounding spiked due to increased replacement demand from damaged vehicles.

Vehicle depreciation rates have been accelerating in recent months as used vehicle prices return to where they would have been had it not been for the abnormal demand and scarce supply created by the storms.  

Year-over-year, all major market segments barring midsize cars, saw higher prices at wholesale. SUVs/CUVs, pickups, and vans outperformed the overall market in 2017.

In terms of volume, Cox Automotive estimates that used car sales increased 4% year-over-year in December. December’s used seasonally adjusted annual rate increased to 38.9 million units, representing a 1% increase over the year-ago period.

As for new-vehicle sales, December volume was down 5% year-over-year, according to Cox Automotive. The car segment continued to struggle, with sales volume falling 17% over the same time in 2016. Light trucks outperformed cars and volume for this segment was up 2% year-over-year.

Full-year 2017 new-vehicle sales totaled 17.1 million, a 2% year-over-year decline, and the first time in seven years that the industry hasn’t grown year-over-year.

Overall fleet sales were down 8% in 2017 compared to 2016.

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