January 29, 2023
Used car demand and costs proceed to say no from file highs

A pedestrian walks previous a licensed pre-owned automotive gross sales lot in Alhambra, California on January 12, 2022.

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Pictures

DETROIT – Wholesale costs of used automobiles reached their lowest degree in additional than a yr final month, as retail gross sales decline amid rate of interest hikes, rising new car availability and recessionary fears.

Cox Automotive mentioned Wednesday that its Manheim Used Car Worth Index, which tracks costs of used automobiles offered at its U.S. wholesale auctions, has declined 15.6% from file ranges in January by way of November. The index dropped to 199.4 final month, beneath 200 for the primary time since August 2021, and is down 14.2% from the identical month a yr in the past. It marks the sixth-consecutive month of declines.

The falling costs come as the supply of latest automobiles steadily rises from historic lows, offering extra choices for customers and doubtlessly higher mortgage choices from automaker’s financing arms.

“New stock is lastly beginning to construct, and that is producing momentum in new retail gross sales, however that momentum seems to be on the expense of used retail. Particularly it is the standard used automotive purchaser that is most impacted by cost affordability,” Cox chief economist Jonathan Smoke mentioned Tuesday throughout an trade replace.

Retail costs for customers historically comply with modifications in wholesale costs. That is excellent news for potential automotive patrons, nonetheless not nice for corporations resembling embattled retailer Carvana that bought automobiles at file highs and are actually attempting to promote them at a revenue.

Retail pricing up to now has not declined as shortly as wholesale costs, as sellers try to carry regular on record-high pricing. In response to the latest information, Cox stories the common itemizing value of a used car was $27,564 in October, down lower than a half % from the start of the yr.

Used car demand and costs proceed to say no from file highs

“They don’t seem to be eager to promote at trough costs,” mentioned Chris Frey, senior trade insights supervisor at Cox Automotive, advised CNBC final month. “That is why we’re not seeing the costs decline a lot at retail.”

Cox estimates that used retail gross sales declined 1% in November from October and have been down 10% from a yr earlier.

Automakers for a number of years now have been battling by way of a semiconductor chip scarcity that has sporadically halted manufacturing of latest automobiles, inflicting record-low inventories of automobiles and better costs. The circumstances pushed many new-vehicle patrons into the used-car market.

Cox final month estimated the complete used market was on tempo to complete the yr down greater than 12% from 40.6 million in 2021.

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