Manheim and NADA Used Car Guide see July numbers a bit differently August 19, 2014

Talk of Free Fall Price Decline May be Premature, Manheim Says

Tom Webb
Chief Economist

The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index declined 1% in July from the previous month and increased 1.5% from a year ago. While it was the third straight month of decline in wholesale pricing, talk of a free fall in pricing has been premature. Wholesale prices have been trending on a secular downward since reaching their peak in May 2011; but the changes have been modest and subject to several up-cycles within the larger trend.

Here’s the latest Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index report

Price Collapse Feared During Drop Prior to Historical Seasonal Weakness:
Collapse would also require significant altering in labor market and credit conditions, which appears to be unlikely.

While Used Sales Were Slower in July, it Shouldn’t Set Off Alarm Bells:
Dealers are continuing to report good turn rates and strong profits in used sales.

Wholesale Price Decline for Most Luxury Cars Twice that of Overall Market:
July also saw segments within luxury that suffered even more, including entry level and premium units.

July Prices Out of Character with Usual Subtle Summer Declines

Jonathan Banks
Executive Automotive Analyst
NADA Used Car Guide

Prices of used vehicles up to eight years in age fell by 3.5% on a monthly basis in July, which was well above both 1% drop averaged from 2011 to 2013 and NADA's forecast of -1 to -1.5%. That was out of character with usual subtle declines experienced in heart of summer. NADA’s seasonally-adjusted used vehicle price index was down almost three points to 123.3. July looked more like steeper declines witnessed last fall.

NADA Used Car Guide’s August issue of Guidelines

New Market Pressure Was Arguably a Contributing Factor to Price Declines:
More consumers have come to dealer showrooms and increased number of vehicles being traded in.

Non-luxury Car Segments Saw Greater Losses than Trucks and SUVs:
Mid-size and compact cars were both down 3.6%, and subcompact cars fell by 3.4%.

Luxury Segments Were Hit Harder than their Mainstream Counterparts in July:
Luxury mid-size cars took biggest tumble at 3.9% -- biggest decline recorded since November 2009.
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