Black Book Market Insights
Wholesale Prices, Week Ending November 26th
Last week was a short week with the Thanksgiving holiday, and the auction results reflected this with the level of declines continuing, but at the lowest level we’ve seen since the third week of July.
This Week Last Week 2017-2019 Average (Same Week)
Car segments -0.57% -0.94% -0.74%
Truck & SUV segments -0.61% -0.87% -0.67%
Market -0.60% -0.89% -0.70%
- On a volume-weighted basis, the overall Car segment decreased -0.57%. For reference, the previous week, cars decreased by -0.94%.
- All nine Car segments decreased last week.
- Sub-Compact Car (-1.66%) was the only segment that had a decline greater than 1%.
- In stark contrast, the Compact Car segment reported a minimal decline of -0.07%, likely due to the short auction week.
- All other Car segments were consistent with prior weeks, but declines were just less than recent weeks.
Truck / SUV Segments
- The volume-weighted, overall Truck segment decreased -0.61%, compared with the prior week’s decline of -0.87%.
- All thirteen Truck segments reported declines last week.
- Minivan (-1.29%) was the only segment to report a decline greater than 1%.
- Full-Size Van, once again, had the smallest decline of all the Truck segments at -0.20%.
- Compact Crossover (-0.62%) had the lowest depreciation for the segment, at -0.62%, since the second week of July when the segment declined -0.43%.
Weekly Wholesale Index
Calendar year 2020 and 2021 ended with used wholesale prices at elevated levels. With economic patterns (including the automotive market) driven by the pandemic, normal seasonal patterns (e.g., 2019 calendar year) in the wholesale market were not observed for most of the last two years. We saw a similar picture in 2009, at the end of the Great Recession. Calendar year 2021 did not have typical seasonality patterns as the market had rapid increases in wholesale values for the majority of the year. The Wholesale Weekly Price Index reached the highest point of the year at the end of December 2021, reporting over 1.51 points.
The graph below looks at trends in wholesale prices of 2-6-year-old vehicles, indexed to the first week of the year. The index is computed keeping the average age of the mix constant to identify market movements.
Retail (Used and New) Insights
- On Friday, Vietnamese automaker, VinFast, announced their first shipment of 999 cars to the US. This first round of vehicles is expected to make it to customers by the end of December. Stateside production is not expected to begin until July of 2024, when their factory in North Carolina will be ready.
- Due to rising COVID cases in China, Volkswagen closed production at one facility and halted production on a couple of lines at another.
- Ford is planning for a Volkswagen ID Buzz competitor with their E-Tourneo Custom passenger van. The van will have an all-electric version, as well as a plug-in hybrid and diesel variants. The all-electric version is expected to have a 230-mile range. Deliveries of the van are slated to begin in mid-2023.
Used Retail Prices
Used Retail Prices are more accessible than in years past, due to the proliferation of ‘no-haggle pricing’ for used-vehicle retailing. Transparent pricing upfront makes the car buying process more enjoyable for customers and allows Black Book to accurately measure retail market trends.
At the on-set of the pandemic, in CY2020, used retail prices increased slightly, following typical seasonal patterns, and then began dropping in April, finally hitting a low point in the late spring months. By late summer of CY2020, Used Retail Prices increased as supply of new vehicle inventory started to become scarce, but retail demand slowed down at the end of CY2020, resulting in declining retail asking prices for the last several weeks of the year. When CY2021 kicked off, demand rebounded while retail prices lagged slightly behind wholesale prices; March of 2021 started the dramatic increases in Used Retail Prices, fueled by stimulus payments, tax season, and shortages of new inventory. During the third quarter, retail prices continued to rise at a slower rate but soon picked up the pace once again to start the fourth quarter. In Q4, prices on retail listings steadily increased week after week. As CY2021 came to an end, the retail listing price index closed 36% above where the year began.
The index has remained relatively stagnant through most of CY2022. Now, in the fourth quarter of 2022, the Retail Listings Price Index has started to decline, but not as steep as the wholesale price index.
This analysis is based on approximately two million vehicles listed for sale on U.S. dealer lots. The graph below looks at 2-6-year-old vehicles. The Index is computed keeping the average age of the mix constant to identify market movements.
Used retail active listing volume dropped to 1.13 this week.
The Used Retail Days-to-Turn estimate is just over 44 days.
With Thanksgiving now behind us, auction activity seems slow, but this is no surprise as we are approaching the end of the year. Being the last quarter of the year and with some model year 2023 vehicles trickling through the lanes, we expect to continue to see more 2024 launches. Some sellers are still holding tight to their floors and have hopes in the market taking a turn into positive territory. Buyers are still bidding, but many sellers are staying firm on their prices. Although sales rates are still down, it seems as if some sellers are willing to negotiate, with a few more “If” sales coming through. Inventory across the board was still down and buyer count was lower than normal. Overall, it was a slow week in the auction lanes, and everything is still following the downward trend. The price of gas is also following a downward trend as well, declining for two consecutive weeks now for a national average price of $3.76/gal.
The Estimated Average Weekly Sales Rate continues to drop, hitting 50% last week.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today