With an overall average segment depreciation of -1.7 percent during November, the market appeared to be better than the October average segment change of -2.3 percent, according to Black Book. November also brought four segments with -1 percent or less depreciation. October’s best depreciation came in at -1.1 percent for the Full-size Pickup Trucks. One year ago in November 2012, the strength was again with the Full-size Pickups at -1 percent.
"Taking the largest depreciating segment in November, we have the Entry level Cars at -3.7 percent. During October the Entry Level Cars were at -2.8 percent. The Entry Mid-size Cars at -2.5 percent in November increased from the October level for that same segment was at -1.7 percent," noted Ricky Beggs, VP and editorial director for Black Book. "We finally have a segment in November that had a smaller level of depreciation going from -2.2 percent in November as compared to the -3.1 percent in October for the Full-size Cars. The Entry sporty Cars had a similar pattern with the November change at -2.1 percent and the prior month during October at -3.1 percent. One year ago the Entry Level Cars were also the greatest monthly depreciating segment at -3.7 percent. Could there be a correlation to the lowest average gas prices coming during the last couple of months of the year?"
As gasoline prices steadily fell during most of November, it seems that this helped the truck segments on the low depreciation level as well as pushed a couple of more fuel efficient segments to the greater depreciation levels. All three pickup truck segments came in at -1 percent or less while the Entry Level Cars and the Entry Mid-size Cars were well over normal depreciation levels at -3.7 percent and -2.5 percent respectively in November.
"To understand some of the seasonality trends one only has to look at the quarterly levels of change over the past couple of years," Beggs explained. "Since September, the market of two- to five-year-old vehicles have depreciated -5 percent. The three month range of June to September was slightly better at -3.8 percent. Over the past few years the late spring to early summer quarter has consistently been more of a seller’s market. In 2013 it was a -1.4 percent level of change. In 2012 the change came in at -0.2 percent."
Over the past month and the -1.7-percent change, and with the four smallest depreciating segments being trucks, the only variance in the comparison of trucks versus cars change is how close it was, with -1.6 percent for the trucks and -1.9 percent for the cars. In October that variance was -1.9% depreciation on the trucks and -2.4 percent on the cars. In September the variance ranged from -1.8 percent for cars and -0.9 percent for trucks.
"Another sign of seasonality adjustments being steady and consistent can be seen when comparing to year ago levels," according to Beggs. "From Dec. 1, 2011 to March 1, 2012 the change was -3.7 percent and the same period one year later was -3.1 percent. The period from March 1, 2012 to June 1, 2012 was a low -0.2 percent while march 1, 2013 to June 1, 2013 was slightly more but still the lowest quarter during the year at -1.4 percent."
End of summer to early fall sees some of the commercial accounts restructuring their portfolios and an increasing level of depreciation. June 1, 2012 to Sept. 1, 2012 increased to -4.8 percent while the same period in 2013 was at -3.8 percent. The level of depreciation tops out at the end of the year on a regular basis at -5.1 percent in 2012 and an almost identical -5.0% in the most recent three month period in 2013.