NEW ORLEANS -OPENLANE, Inc., announced the inaugural report from its OPENLANE Market Index, a monthly indicator intended to measure trends in online vehicle sales within the wholesale sector of the automotive industry.

The first of its kind, the OPENLANE Market Index will initially measure year-to-year price trends for wholesale vehicles online, as well as dealer interest in vehicles by type, including car, SUV, truck and minivan sales. The statistics revealed in the Index will serve as an industry benchmark for pricing and interest and will be an invaluable resource for anyone with a stake in the wholesale automotive industry. The index is intended to be a monthly resource for the wholesale industry that will reflect and track trends in the industry over time.

OPENLANE has been gathering comprehensive data on trends in online vehicle sales and pricing across a number of wholesale auctions within its marketplace. By compiling this data, OPENLANE is now able to present statistics on how vehicles are priced and what type of used vehicles dealers are looking for on its online auction sites. Additional statistics will be compiled on a quarterly and annual basis as the index grows over time.

Results of the first OPENLANE Market Index reflect the following trends for the 2008:

  • Car pricing was stable during the first 7 months of 2008; it then showed some increase in August and September, but started a downward trend in the fourth quarter. Overall, car pricing is down 10 percentage points since January 2008.

  • Truck pricing decreased steadily throughout 2008 with July having the lowest percentage point, ending the year 12 percentage points lower than the baseline.

  • SUV pricing was relatively stable during the first 5 months of 2008. November had the lowest pricing, but started to climb in December. Overall SUV pricing dropped 14 percentage points since January.

  • The minivan segment experienced the most dramatic reduction in pricing. Minivan pricing was relatively stable during the first 4 months of 2008, but has been slowly decreasing since May. Similar to SUVs, November experienced the lowest pricing but prices started to climb in December. Overall, minivan segment prices are down 19 percentage points since January.

    “OPENLANE is in a unique position to gauge overall wholesale vehicle trends due to its exclusive focus in the online wholesale vehicle auction market and access to not only broad vehicle sales data but also detailed dealer vehicle interest data,” said Dr. Nagi Palle, vice president, analytics, OPENLANE. “The vehicle interest index is unique - a first of its kind in the automotive remarketing industry and is meant to provide a leading indicator for what dealers are looking to include in their inventory over the next 30-60 day timeframe. Overall, sales prices decreased on all vehicle segments throughout 2008. The second quarter of 2008 experienced a gasoline price shock that led to a dramatic decrease in pricing and interest in the truck market segments but generally helped maintain car segment pricing with an increase in dealer interest. Due to the continually struggling economy from the financial meltdown in the latter part of the year, consumer demand for vehicles has softened and sellers therefore have had to reduce prices in order to incent sales. Although interest in SUVs and trucks increased slightly at the end of the year due to the decrease in oil prices, consumers are still limited by availability of loans and leases due to the credit crunch. Dealers and consignors will need to continue to adapt accordingly based on these changing market conditions.”

    For more information on the OPENLANE Market Index and to access a copy of the inaugural report for January 2009, please visit: