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Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of Beggs on the Used Car Market with data from Black Book. Thanks for tuning in this week and also for the comments we received over the past week about the market activity.
We had our hands full compiling, analyzing and reporting the market values with the increased activity, as in many parts of the country, the weather was a little kinder to those attending the auctions and also manning the retail lots. There must have been some empty holes to fill as the overall “no sale” comments were much less than normal.
Where we have previously talked about a slower reaction to the arrival of tax season, it finally raised its head this past week causing more aggressive bidding for some vehicles in some markets. When looking at the various comments from the Black Book survey personnel who were out on the lanes throughout the week, their reports focused on “springtime optimism” from the Nevada market to “steady”, “strong”, and “the market is improving”. The comments covered much of the country from Illinois, Florida, California and even Washington State. These comments were confirmed as I looked at the actual results of the editors’ week long daily analysis and adjustments.
The cars average segment change was the lowest declining amount at -$40, the same as back for the week ending January 3, 2014. Looking at week over week improvements, only four car segments had smaller declining change levels this past week than the prior. The Premium Sporty Cars, at -$79 this past week was a noticeable improvement from the previous seven weeks which all had greater than $100 declining change levels. Maybe this is one of those signs of a spring market getting closer. The three segments with the smallest weekly change are also the three lowest average priced segments, another factor within the tax season market.
According to Black Book, within the truck segments, only two were improvements week over week, the Passenger Minivans and the Luxury SUVs. The average segment change of -$67 was the greatest decline in the past eight weeks. We expect this increasing level of segment change to be only temporary.
Another variance within the industry over the past couple of months is the increase on the price of gas at the pump. It had been fairly stable and new even with the $.07 increase for this past week to $3.38 per gallon, we are still $.37 less than year ago prices.
We finished the week meeting with the second class of the Auction Academy, a leadership and management training program, created and administered by TPC Management. The future leaders of many of the independent auctions are truly focused on improving their skills and using best practices. And, without a doubt they have their fingers on the pulse of the industry.
We will be back on the lanes this week with much anticipation of a continuing active and improving market. The numbers will tell us whether the spring market is truly here to stay. Tune back in next week to see the actual market results. Have a great week.