Time is of the Essence, according to the titled quarterly industry from AutoIMS, that points to a shifting market with new opportunities after the last two years.  -  Graphic: AutoIMS

Time is of the Essence, according to the titled quarterly industry from AutoIMS, that points to a shifting market with new opportunities after the last two years.

Graphic: AutoIMS

Remarketing activity appears to be reaching a more familiar, stable path after a long journey through the near-three-year chaos of a pandemic, supply chain pressures, and economic volatility.

A comprehensive auction data report from AutoIMS, an automotive remarketing technology firm based in Atlanta, shows trends in the last quarter of 2022 departing from the “new abnormal,” as vehicle sale prices drop and new vehicles sales into fleets turn upward in January.

“2022 is a wrap, and so are many of the previous trends we saw unfolding the last two years,” according to the 4Q Industry View report titled “Time is of the Essence.” Cooling inflation, higher car payments, increased delinquencies — perhaps a return to earth in terms of supply and demand,” led to the major drop in the average sale price, the report said.

The quarterly report aggregates data from 750+ auctions across North America that collectively take in vehicles from more than 1,000 consignors. The metrics data reflects most of the commercial vehicle sales volume at wholesale physical auto auctions in North America.

Here are highlights from the Q4 2022 vs. 2021 YOY results:

  • The conversion rate — the percentage of vehicles sold on a day in which they were offered — dipped to 59% in 4Q 2022 from 68% in 4Q 2021.
  • Gross sales price as a percentage of floor price crossed into negative territory, from 100.6% in 4Q 2021 to 97% in 4Q 2022.
  • The average sale price fell from $16,351 in 4Q 2021 to $14,345 last quarter.
  • The average vehicle grade rose to 2.91 in 4Q 2022 from 2.86 in 4Q the year before.
  • Resold vehicles got newer, as the average MY scraped 2016 in 4Q 2022 compared to 2014.7 in 4Q 2021.
  • Average mileage held steady from 90,345 in 4Q 2021 to 90,187 last quarter.
  • The amount of auction fees deducted from proceeds at sale settlement rose to $403.81 in 4Q 2022, compared to $374.97 in 4Q 2021.
  • Average days from auction arrival to sale increased to 28.1 in Q4 2022 over 25.1 in 4Q 2021.

With 2022 bringing a three-day increase in days to sell, cycle times are being driven by higher volumes, fewer staff, and high retention expectations, the report said.

“Conversion rate came in nearly 10 points behind 2021 as commercial consignment to auction increased in the second half of the year,” the report concluded.

The accumulated data overall indicates a healthier year for the financial performance of remarketing channels.

“Floor prices were consistently on the high (hopeful) side during 2022 and consignors are re-thinking their predictive analytics and priorities of selling for speed vs. price during this economic pendulum swing,” the report said. “The good news is the vehicle demographics (grade, year, mileage, etc.) continue to level out.”

Martin Romjue

Martin Romjue

Fleet Content Director, Charged Fleet Editor, Vehicle Remarketing Editor

Martin Romjue became fleet group content director and editor of Charged Fleet and Vehicle Remarketing for Bobit Business Media in 2020, where he plans and coordinates content across several fleet brands. He previously worked as lead editor of Bobit-owned Luxury, Coach & Transportation (LCT) Magazine and LCTmag.com from 2008 until the brand was sold in 2020. Before joining B2B media, Martin worked as a business editor and reporter at five daily newspapers in California, Florida, and Virginia. He has B.A. degrees in political science and communication from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.