CARMEL, IN – Average wholesale used-vehicle prices in September registered their fifth monthly decline in six months (with only a modest, 0.4-percent uptick in August). Once again, average prices were up (5.3 percent) on a year-over-year basis because of weak year-ago comparables that reflected hurricane activity and extensive model-year-end incentive programs, according to Tom Kontos, ADESA chief economist. Weak retail used-vehicle sales continue to be a major factor in the softening price environment, although retail volumes in September were 5.1-percent higher than August and down 10.5-percent year-over-year versus more than 20 percent last month, said Kontos.
Retail used-vehicle sales were aided by dealer willingness to discount prices; used-vehicle prices as a percentage of new-vehicle prices fell again per ADESA Analytical Services’ latest calculations based on Federal Reserve data on auto loans, reported Kontos. Falling gasoline prices (national average prices for regular gasoline have fallen by almost 75 cents since July) have also helped retail sales. These are positive developments in light of higher anticipated auction volumes due to the usual fall defleeting of rental and commercial fleet units, said Kontos.