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The Black Book team has been in Las Vegas this past week at the CAR/IARA/NAAA Conference, where we produced the latest used car market report. There has been insight regarding the rebirth of Harley Davidson when they were close to extinction in the 90s, and also some interesting economic thoughts from Steve Cortes, a commentator on CNBC. Now, let’s take a closer look at the actual happenings within the market.
While at the conference and talking with many remarketers and auction personnel, we heard from them about the better than normal sales conversions and the strong prices they were witnessing. I mentioned that Black Book was seeing the same thing and was supported by the percentage of all adjustments over the last three weeks that were increases to the previously published used values at 47%, 48% and 51%, and was anxious to see the level of increases for the most recent week of adjustments. The report came in at a solid 62% off of a slightly lower 1655 adjustments per day throughout the week.
From all of the talk about increasing gas prices since the first of the year, there was a slight decrease in price at the pump over the last week to a national average of $3.76 which is a grand $.03 less than this time a year ago. I hope this is a sign of lower prices to come. And based on some of the commentary from Steve Cortes with oil production steadily increasing within the US territory, prices should be better for the consumer during 2013.
Looking at some of the segment changes over the past week, two of the better trending car segments, the Entry Mid-size Cars at +$30 and the Upper Mid-size Cars at +$23, are following the trend for these two segments for this time of the year in 2012 and also 2011. Another car segment increased for the week, the Near Luxury Cars at +$2. Overall the cars average segment change was at -$23 and for the previous four weeks the average change has been -$25, representing a pretty stable market for the cars.
The truck segments are performing even better as 7 of the 14 truck segments increased for the week with an overall average segment change of only -$3. This is the best retention level since the +$5 change level from the week ending December 21, 2012. For the past four weeks the average segment change for the trucks has been at -$17.
The Compact SUVs segment, up by +$20, have now increased week over week for four consecutive weeks. The Cargo Minivans, increasing for the past two weeks, led the strength this past week at +$32. The Compact Crossovers have now increased for the past two weeks, this most current weekly change being +$12. Another strong increasing segment for the week was the Full-size Pickup Trucks which matched the +$32 of the Cargo Minivans.
We will be spending our time this week continuing to track the auction and market activity in order to report the most current used vehicle values. A couple of the Editors will be getting a hands on feel of a totally new vehicle coming soon to the market, while I will be giving some market insight at the CBA conference in the Phoenix area. For sure, I’m glad the spring market strength has continued.