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According to Black Book data, the average price of a used vehicle for model years 2008-2012 overall increased in price during April, capping a strong spring selling season. Average segment prices saw +0.9% retention in value compared with the previous month (-0.3% depreciation in March). Domestic cars gained +2.7%; import cars gained +0.2%; domestic trucks gained +2.2%; and import trucks gained +0.5%. Average pre-recession depreciation is historically between -1% and -2% monthly, and Black book expects overall 2014 depreciation of -13.5%.
For the second straight month, Entry-Level Cars led all segments with the strongest monthly retention, gaining +4.0% of value during April. This segment has gained +6.6% in value since the end of February. Vehicles in this segment include the Chevrolet Aveo, Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris. The average segment price at the end of April was $7,792, a -13.7% change from a year ago ($9,027).
Also for the second straight month, Prestige Luxury Cars led all segments with the highest depreciation at -1.8% in April. Vehicles in this segment include the BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus GS Class, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Jaguar XJ. The average segment price at the end of April was $33,043, an -18.6% change from year-ago levels ($40,609).
Compact SUVs joined Cargo Minivans as the two truck segments with the strongest retention at +3.5% each. Compact SUVs include vehicles such as the Jeep Wrangler and Nissan Xterra, while Cargo Minivans include the Dodge Caravan, Ford Freestar and Chevrolet Uplander.
Luxury SUVs led all truck segments with the highest depreciation (-0.8% in April) after also posting the highest depreciation in March (-1.3%). Vehicles in this segment include the Cadillac Escalade, Toyota Land Cruiser, Land Rover LR3 and LR4, Lincoln Navigator and BMW X5.
To illustrate the overall strength of the market during April, twenty-three of the twenty-four total car and truck segments posted better than -1.0% in value change. Also, ten of the twenty-four segments posted better than +2.0% change in value. Of those ten, six were trucks and four were cars, showing an almost evenly diverse share of strength between cars and trucks during April.
“The harsh winter pushed many spring used car sales into April, forcing wholesalers to remain active in their bidding throughout the month,” said Ricky Beggs, Editorial Director at Black Book. “We anticipate easing off these monthly highs in May now that the selling activity will resume its typical patterns entering the summer months.”