GAINESVILLE, GA - Black Book reports that recent comments from dealers, survey personnel, and some auctioneers focused on a "more catious buyer" where "mpg is everything" and the real demand was on the $12,000 and below vehicles.

"I had the opportunity to meet with a couple of manufacturers and a captive finance company this past week," said Ricky Beggs, VP and managing editor for Black Book. "They are very upbeat about the current state of the used-car market, but on more than one occasion, expressed their thoughts as to how long the market will stay this good. Barring any unforeseen U.S. or world issues, the shift in used vehicle value retention won’t reach the used market until annual new car sales volumes climb to the 15.2 to 15.5 million mark."

The percentage level of adjustments that were increases continued to soften slightly, this week coming in at a very progressive almost 53 percent. This is the lowest percentage of increases since the week ending March 4, 2011, nine weeks ago, according to Black Book. All of these adjustment trends are based on a solid 1,240 vehicles adjusted each day throughout the past week. This is the strongest volume of daily adjustments over the past three weeks.

"While looking at the car segments, we are reporting eight of the 10 segments increasing over the past week. This is nine consecutive weeks of overall increases for the cars, at an average increase of $43 during this period," said Beggs.

This past week, the overall change was at +$27. The strongest segments included the Entry Level Cars (ELC) at +$68 and the Entry Sporty Cars (ESC) at +$46. The two declining segments were the Premium Sporty Cars (PSC) at -$13 and the Prestige Luxury Cars (PLC) at a very small -$4.

"Even though there continues to be comments as to the expected softness in the truck segments, the overall change in trucks came in at a positive $7 change for the second consecutive week. This is also the seventh consecutive week with overall strength in these segments. The truck market continues to defy the perception that there is little or no interest and demand for trucks, vans and utility vehicles, with 10 of the 14 segments increasing in value," said Beggs. "The real strength this past week was with the Luxury SUVs (LSU) which increased by $68 over the last week. This was followed very close with the $60 increase for the Compact Pickup Trucks (CPT). Two of the three crossover segments, the Compact Crossovers (CXU) and the Mid-size Crossovers (MXU) also showed solid level increases at $39 and $30 respectively."

On the opposite end of the market changes, the Full-size SUVs (FSU), down $126 for the week, is the only truck segment to decline for each of the past 12 weekly reporting periods.

Overall, the dealer and the Black Book survey personnel comments indicate a continued positive market, but one that is just not as aggressive as we have been seeing.