CARMEL, IN – Wholesale used-vehicle prices in February were down 0.5 percent on a year-over-year basis, although they rose 1.1 percent compared to January, according to Tom Kontos, chief economist, ADESA, Inc. The wholesale auction environment in February favored buyers in that supply was relatively high while retail demand was considerably lower than the norm for that time of year. Therefore, dealers were more selective in their purchases and less aggressive in their bidding.

However, prices for nearly new vehicles (current and one-year-old models) rose 2-percent year-over-year, indicating that program and company vehicles sold by manufacturers in “closed” sales to their dealers performed well above market averages for the month. This is partly due to lower new vehicle incentives, which were down 4-percent year-over-year, according to Encouraged by higher prices, manufacturers and their captive finance companies sold-down their inventory levels.