FREDERICK, MD - Sales of used vehicles totaled 9.48 million units worth $83.1 billion at National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) member auctions last year, according to the trade organization’s 12th annual survey. Fleet/lease and repo vehicles represented the largest number of units sold at 42.8 percent, followed by dealer-consigned vehicles (42.0 percent), factory vehicles (12.7 percent), and just 2.5 percent from other sources.

The survey found that while the number of vehicles entered jumped by 7 percent, to 17.1 million, 2008 was only the second year gross value of units sold dipped down 6.4 percent, since NAAA began the annual review in 1997.

“Given the financial downturn that began last year, a small decline was not completely unexpected,” said NAAA Executive Director Frank Hackett. “It’s encouraging to note this is only the second time in a dozen years we’ve seen any kind of decline. I think the survey results show the strength and depth of a mature industry that despite various challenges over its seven decades has demonstrated its resiliency. I’m confident we’ll continue to be a vital and growing part of our nation’s economy in the decades to come.”

Conducted by LarsonAllen of Arlington, Va., for NAAA, the survey provides the most accurate picture available of the wholesale auto auction industry, with a 78 percent response rate representing 247 NAAA North American member auctions. The numbers for sales, units entered, and gross value are projected to the total NAAA membership of 318.

The results reflect a continuing wholesale auction industry trend toward full-service auction facilities. A substantial 98 percent of North American auctions now offer detail shops, body repair and paint shops, and transportation services (either in-house or sublet). Most provide some level of mechanical services (94 percent) and dealer financing (95 percent).

Survey data reveals that the average NAAA auction member operates a seven-lane facility on 74 acres, employs 141 people with a payroll of $3.1 million, and contributes $26,700 annually to charity.