ATLANTA – In what remained a volatile marketplace in the first half of 2010, new and used vehicle retail sales volumes increased, wholesale used vehicle volumes declined, and wholesale vehicle values reached record highs, according to Manheim.
These and a host of other industry trends are analyzed in-depth in the Mid-Year edition of Manheim’s Used Car Market Report, available online at www.manheim.com/consulting.
“Everyone with a stake in the used vehicle market needs as much information as possible to make smarter decisions,” said Manheim president and CEO Dean Eisner. “Readers from all segments of the industry will find this report useful as they develop a deeper understanding of the state of the used vehicle business.”
Highlights of the report include:
SALES VOLUMESTotal new vehicle sales in the first half of 2010 came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 11.1 million; fleet sales were up 41 percent over last year, while retail sales were up 12 percent. Total used vehicle retail sales increased by 3.6 percent in the first half of 2010; sales by dealers were up 4.4 percent and private-party transactions rose by 1.8 percent.
THE WHOLESALE MARKETAuction volumes declined in the first half of the year, with units sold down 8.2 percent from last year, according to the National Auto Auction Association.Wholesale prices, meanwhile, reached a record high in May’s Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index. On an annual average basis, wholesale used vehicle prices as of June were 5.3 percent above their year-ago level.
ONLINE ACTIVITYManheim.com is receiving a record 900,000 visits per week, and more than 21 percent of all Manheim transactions took place online via Manheim Simulcast or OVE.com.
RENTAL MARKETIn 2010, the rental industry is expected to purchase between 1.5 million and 1.6 million vehicles, up from 1.1 million units in 2009. In the first half of 2010, Detroit 3 manufacturer vehicles accounted for 69.6 percent of total rental car purchases, compared to 80 percent in 2006. Risk vehicles account for more than 65 percent of units in service in 2010, and an even higher percentage of vehicles purchased. Average auction prices for both rental risk and repurchase vehicles remain above prior-year levels, with repurchase vehicle values remaining at record-high levels since the second half of 2009.
LEASING AND REPOSSESSIONSIn the first half of 2010, auto ABS issuance totaled $34 billion, up 35 percent from its year-ago level. After reaching a peak of 1.9 million units in 2009, total repossession volumes are expected to decline 11 percent to 1.7 million vehicles in 2010. After falling to 1.1 million units in 2009, new lease originations are estimated to increase 33 percent in 2010. Still, due to low lease originations in recent years, off-lease volumes will continue to decline dramatically through 2012.
COMMERCIAL AND GOVERNMENT FLEETSIn the first half of 2010, commercial fleets bought 227,200 vehicles, up 34 percent from the same period in 2009, but still one-third less than the 2008 level. By year’s end, total commercial fleet vehicles are expected to reach close to 475,000, which would represent a 37 percent increase. Government fleets purchased 9 percent fewer vehicles in the first half of 2010. The shortage of used vehicles in the auction lanes has brought strong demand and prices for end-of-service fleet vehicles.
SALVAGEIn the first half of 2010, the number of vehicles remarketed through salvage auctions declined approximately 5 percent, and it is unlikely that salvage volume will rebound until the economic recovery gains enough momentum that vehicle owners are encouraged to scrap rather than repair damaged vehicles.