CARMEL, IN - The used-vehicle market showed further signs of improvement in October. Retail used-vehicle sales registered their first significant year-over-year increase of 2006, rising 5.9 percent over October 2005, reported Tom Kontos, VP, ADESA Analytical Services.

Sales have been generated in part from discounting by dealers, as evidenced by the first year-over-year reduction in the used vehicle CPI in two years (down 0.4 percent in September). Most of these retail sales appear to be on vehicles that were already in inventory, so the impact on wholesale prices was minimal. However, the retail inventory clearance comes at a good time for remarketers bringing relatively high volumes of off-fleet and off-rental units to wholesale auctions, as they typically do at this model-year-end time of year, said Kontos. ADESA Analytical Services estimates that same-store auction industry sales volumes rose 7.8-percent year-over-year in October.

October results also indicated previous price patterns by vehicle model class segment have inverted becuase of falling gasoline prices. For example, prices for full-size pickup trucks rose the highest of all segments on a year-over-year basis in October, while compact car prices fell the most. This is the opposite of trends seen in many previous months when gas prices were increasing or at high levels, reported Kontos.