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Here is the latest used car market report from Ricky Beggs and Black Book. Gas prices continue to fall, but only $.015 this past week. At least we are $.24 less than a year ago. I wish I could say the decline at the pump was directly driving the market, but at this point this is an afterthought. The overall strength is really based on less than full operating lanes with plenty of buyers in the lanes and signed in on-line. There does not seem to be one segment of vehicles that is in demand but many as 15 of the 24 segments finished on a positive note for the week. The cars finished with a segment average -$3 for the second week in a row. The trucks at +$7 finished positive overall for the past two weeks. Based on the survey personnel comments from their views from the auction lanes the final adjusted numbers fall right in line. With economy cars mentioned several times as in demand the Entry Level Cars at +$32, the Compact Cars at +$15 and Upper Mid-size Cars at +$16 along with the Entry Mid-size cars at +$5 lead the way with continued increases as these are the more fuel efficient models.
The trucks continue to be of interest on the auction lanes as all three pickup segments finished up week over week. Six more truck type segments also increased including a +$26 week over week change for the Compact SUVs, up for 7 consecutive weeks and the Compact Crossovers at +$19 increasing for four of the last five weeks.
With the percent of adjustments of 61%, now at four weeks of 60%+ confirms the “no bargains mean plenty of buyers” comment from one of the Black Book survey personnel. The 1874 vehicles adjusted per day during the week is the second largest level of adjustments during a strong March market. Last week we mentioned the significantly larger number of Average condition values adjusted over Clean condition. Even though the greater number of Average condition values has occurred every week since the week ending March 1, 2013, the variance has not been that great. We still see it as a sign of looking for a better bargain and dealers also looking for the opportunity to increase revenue through some quality reconditioning.