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Here is the June edition of the Black Book specialty markets report. The most recent monthly activity with all four specialty markets is showing some of the better retention levels since the first part of 2013. The improving overall economy and especially for the medium and heavy-duty truck market, the signs of construction, both residential and commercial, are creating needs for additional, newer and/or upgraded trucks. Let’s take a closer look at the market trends within the specialty markets reported on by Black Book.
Medium and Heavy Duty Trucks and Commercial Trailers:
On the medium duty side of the market this past month, the increased supply of rough units, combined with the continued lack of quality used trucks showing up at auctions, is helping push the overall market downward. A reason for this is that trucks are continuing to be kept in service for longer periods of time before having to be replaced with a new or late-model used truck. This is probably due mostly to the previously struggling economy. That downward movement is finally a little less than the months before. We see that the late-model trucks, the 2010 and 2011, dropped on average around $500. Compare that to the previous month with a drop of over $650. The older models, the 2002 to 2009 model years, came down just over $200 on average. Here again, compare that to the previous month with a drop of just over $250.
Reports show an increase in orders for new medium duty trucks, so we have our eyes on any increase in some consignments at the auction and the mix of age and condition of those trades.
The three segments of the heavy-duty truck market are all showing better retention levels in the past several months. The used Heavy Duty Construction/Vocational Market is carrying the load, no pun intended, again this month for year models 2002 through 2009, and again, primarily class 8 dump trucks. There are not a lot of them showing up at auction, but when they do cross the auction block, they have done very well and some of them will show a pretty hefty increase in value in the June book/internet product. The movement from May 2013 for the Construction/Vocational segment is -0.6% which brings the average monthly movement since February to -1.08%. The most recent monthly change is the smallest monthly decline since back in August 2012.
The used Heavy Over the Road Trucks at -1.1% is the smallest monthly change since the change for the month of October 2012. The used Heavy Regional Trucks with a monthly change of -1.4% was the smallest since February 2013, but the largest decline of the three heavy duty types. Let’s hope this improving trend continues, along with the overall economy for a while.
The recreational user activity is right in the sweet time of the year. For the fifth month in a row, towable values did what we expected them to, increasing slightly in value, while motor homes went against conventional wisdom and inched up a little bit, reversing the trend from a month ago when they had started their seasonal decline a little earlier than usual.
Motor homes came in at an average selling price at auction of $39,346, which is $265 (0.6%) more than the previous month’s $39,081. Towables, including travel trailers, fifth wheels, and camping trailers, rose to $11,365 from $11,243, an uptick of $122 (1%). For reference, one year ago motor homes were selling for $40,914 and towables were $11,156.
We are expecting sales of both towables and motor homes to ease off a bit as we head into the summer months. It’s not that they are any less desirable, but rather that most dealers have already done their buying for the season. Most auction sales now will be to replace units that have been sold, and many dealers do not restock at a one-to-one pace at this point in the year.
Collectible and Exotic Vehicles:
It’s local and regional car show season where many of the more realistic collectible cars appear. This often leads to a change of ownership. The collectible car market has historically been heavily influenced by the performance of the stock market. Several indices are at record highs, and a lot of those profits, either realized or “on paper”, continue to flow into collectible cars. We’ll be keeping our eyes on the big summer events, and will not be surprised to hear about new sales records being set.
We hate to be repetitive, but the hottest market segments right now remain the vintage exotics and the full-size post-war American cars. With all of the attention surrounding the introduction of the new 2014 Corvette Stingray, we’ve noticed the auction results of several Corvettes from the 1960s beginning to increase significantly. Keep your eyes on the best examples of the high performance versions…specifically the 1957-65 fuelies and the big blocks.
Motorcycles and Powersports:
For the motorcycles and powersports we are picking up right where we left off last month, with a market very similar in change of the previous couple of months. Values are up where they should be, but by very small amounts. Most segments, the Cruisers, Off Road, On/Off-Road, Scooter, Street, and Utility bikes are up by between one half and one percent with the following exceptions.
Personal Watercraft and Jet Boats are up by 1.4% reflecting the arrival of warmer weather. As expected snowmobiles, currently are non-players at the auction level dropping another 2.7% this past month and even less activity on the retail side.
ATVs which have been declining in value over the past several months have risen slightly by .1%. While this is not a very large increase, and basically represents no change from last month, that in itself is a major deviation from the large drops we have been reporting recently.
Even though they are not broken out individually from the Street segment, Sport bikes have also seen higher than average upwards changes in price, especially for clean, late-model units.
The larger domestic V-Twins have also seen a bit higher than average price appreciation this month, while the smaller displacement units (think Sportsters) are only up slightly.