The average price a of 3-year-old vehicle grew throughout all of March and that trend is expected to continue on through most of April.
 - Photo by Eric Gandarilla.

The average price a of 3-year-old vehicle grew throughout all of March and that trend is expected to continue on through most of April.

Photo by Eric Gandarilla.

The lull that the wholesale market experienced through January and February was upended in March, as the industry saw the traditional spring bounce in values, according to the most recent Manheim Index report.

The Manheim Used Value Index for March registered at 136, a 4% increase from the same time last year.

The average price a of 3-year-old vehicle grew throughout all of March and that trend is expected to continue on through most of April.

Most vehicle segments experienced gains in wholesale pricing; however, midsize cars realized the largest gains.

"Three-year-old vehicles had four straight weeks of price gains in March, which offset the price declines we saw in January and February," said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Cox Automotive. "Affordability concerns, namely increased new-vehicle prices and loan rates, continue to shrink the pool of consumers able to purchase a new vehicle and lead to greater strength in the used market."

Looking at the retail side of the industry, both new and used vehicles saw a dip in volume sold.

Used vehicle sales volume was down 1.7% in March year-over-year while new-vehicle sales volume was down 2.2% year-over-year.

Sedan demand continues to decline while light truck demand is stable.  Car sales fell 7.9% year-over-year in March while light truck sales were up 0.6% year-over-year. At the current rate, new-vehicle sales are expected to be down in 2019.

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