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Hello and welcome to this week’s Used Car Market Report with insights from Black Book and Ricky Beggs. Well, the word is officially out that Ricky Beggs' time at Black Book is limited. The final day will be April 1, 2015, and no, that is not an April Fool’s joke.
Black Book will be producing a new report that will benefit you each and every week. It's called Black Book Market Insights, and it is designed to combine all of the timely, accurate vehicle valuation data that you've come to rely on Black Book for, with additional analytical insight that will help you make profitable decisions for your business each day. Every week the report will offer you a direct link to dealer sentiment at the auctions, in addition to broader economic trends that are shaping the automotive market. Please be on the lookout for more information about how to subscribe to this weekly newsletter.
There are still a couple more of these weekly auto versions and also one more monthly Beggs on the Specialty Markets for March 1st. For now, let’s take a look at some of the market activity and the results from this past week, which is why you really tune in each week.
It is winter and we expect cold weather, but certain parts of the country have gotten more than their fair share. Even some of us in the deep south had temperatures that registered in the single and low teen digits along with a couple of days of frozen precipitation. But in today’s market there are few exceptions where the weather actually stops a physical auction completely, as the ability to run an online and physical concurrent auction still will get cars sold.
Most of our survey personnel’s comments this past week did reference the cold, but also acknowledged overall sales percentages being very good, and a market that is holding steady. This past week of all the adjustments we made came in with just over 39% being increases. Since the first week of the year every week has been in the 30+% level with three weeks falling between 39 and 40%, a great indicator of positive activity. The number of necessary adjustments slowed a little below normal at just under 1500 per day this past week. This follows the just over 2500 per day the previous week, which was the high market for the past year.
Gas continues its typical first of the year increases by a jump of $.08 this past week to a national average of $2.27 for gas and a $.03 increase to $2.86 for diesel fuel. The great thing is that this year we are still $1.11 and $1.12 respectively under year ago levels.
The car segments had an overall average segment change of -$59 this past week, a steady increase over each of the previous two weeks. Even with six of the ten segments having smaller change levels than the prior week the significant declining changes of the Prestige Luxury Cars at -$213 and the Premium Sporty Cars at -$147 pushed the higher overall average change. Even with the overall increase over the past two weeks the market is still better than the year ago change of -$77. Another interesting note, the change levels of the Prestige Luxury Cars and the Premium Sporty Cars have both been at the -$100+ levels for at least five of the previous seven weeks, so the current level of change does not represent a changing market trend. A pattern that has not been as consistent since the first of the year is that all five segments that traditionally fair best during tax season, all have the smallest declining levels this week.
The truck markets continue to be steady and stable overall since the first of the year. This past week five of the segments had increasing levels of change, led by the Full-size vans, both cargo and passenger versions. A couple of segments continue to have larger than market average declines. The Luxury SUVs at -$186 and the Full-size SUVs at -$146 this past week have had multiple -$100+ change levels since the first of the year. And even another segment with multiple high levels of declines, the Full-size Crossovers, had a change of -$67 this past week.
The bottom line is that it is important to have the most timely market insight as the current market has a variety of change levels.