NADA’s 2012 Convention: Palpable Optimism

There was a different feeling in the air at last week’s NADA convention in Las Vegas, something that hadn’t been felt in such a long time that it seemed almost foreign.    For the first time in years, optimism undeniably strode through the doors of the convention center on opening day and stayed until the last attendee had cleared out.  Everyone could sense it.  From dealers heartened by January’s nearly four-year high in new vehicle sales, to exhibitors whose booth traffic and takeaway business was radically improved from the past few years. There’s legiti ...

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And we're off to VEGAS!

Seemingly half the company and I are getting ready to leave the unseasonably warm Washington DC area and fly off to Las Vegas to attend NADA’s annual convention & expo over the weekend. From what I’ve been hearing, attendance is way up from years’ past both in terms of the dealer body and exhibitors, which when combined with the fact that it is Super Bowl weekend (in Las Vegas!) should make for a show full of energy and crisp ideas. I’m really looking forward to spending more time our dealer body and sharing our thoughts on how we believe the used market will play out over ...

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January AuctionNet Prices Move Up Per the Seasonal Norm

Dealer preparation for the spring selling season took AuctionNet wholesale prices over the first half of January in a familiar direction – up. Relative to December, the average price of vehicles up to five years in age grew by 1.1% to match the seasonal bump historically seen over this period of time (mileage and mix adjusted).  This being said, the month’s price growth is slightly back of what we saw last year (1.5%) which may indicate that we’re getting close to a used price plateau after a three year period of expansion.   At a segment and model year level, January’s r ...

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Motor City Impressions – Detroit’s Most Wanted

As I mentioned in my last blog, a few colleagues and I spent the first part of last week attending the North American International Auto Show in Detroit (hopefully you had a chance to catch our show updates on Twitter and Facebook). Maybe the 40+ degree weather had something to do with it, but the atmosphere at this year’s show bore some resemblance to shows held prior to the recession. Unlike the scavenger hunts of the past few years, coffee and finger foods were easy enough to find, and judging by my almost always obstructed view, the show was very well attended by the press corp. ...

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2012 Detroit Auto Show Preview

The annual North American International Auto Show, or NAIAS, is one of the premier auto shows in the world and one that kicks off the auto show season here in the U.S. Although the show’s press days are always well-attended by industry professionals, this year’s profusion of critical unveilings makes an appearance this year mandatory.   To begin with, Ford and Honda will show redesigned versions of their mid-size car combatants, the Fusion and Accord Coupe “concept” (Honda’s concepts are historically close to production spec).  Both brands have something to prove in the h ...

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Chrysler’s Sales are Up but Rental Rate Tops Industry

Last summer we published an account of rental fleet penetration trends in our monthly market update Guidelines. In the July 2010 edition, we discussed the impact that excessive off-rental fleet supply can have on used vehicle values, and we pointed out makes and models that were at the biggest risk of seeing significant used value erosion because of high rental fleet penetration, or “pen”, rates. Back then, the five brands with the highest rental fleet pen rates were (in order) Saturn, Chrysler, Mercury, Dodge, and Isuzu, with each having a rate at or significantly above 30%. Fast fo ...

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December 2011 Market Update

The release of pent-up demand stimulated by improved consumer confidence pushed November’s new vehicle sales rate to 13.6M units; the highest rate recorded since August ’09’s cash-for-clunkers figure of 14.1M. Overall sales grew by 14% relative to last November with light trucks maintaining a 54% share of total sales for the month.  November’s strong showing pushed light vehicle sales for the year to nearly 11.5M units and raised the consensus estimate for the full year to 12.8M.  The result will be that light vehicle sales in 2011 should beat last year by more than 10%.  ...

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The LA Auto Show: Setting the Stage for Compact Utility Dominance

The week prior to the Thanksgiving holiday I spent two harried days running around the Los Angeles convention center taking in the city’s annual auto show, and while LA had its fair share of exotic concept and low volume performance debuts – Chevy Camaro ZL1, Mercedes ML63 AMG, Subaru BRZ, and the Porsche 911 to name a few – it was the reveal of two compact utilities, the Ford Escape and the Honda CR-V, that were arguably the show’s most significant. Let’s look at some data to back this up.  Just five years ago, compact utilities had a 9% share of all new vehicles sold; at the close of ...

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Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles - Why So Popular?

I will be attending the Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Dealer Conference in Las Vegas next week and wanted to share with my readers some insight my astute colleague, David Wagner, supplied to me.  CPO sales continue to break records on the number of units sold by manufacturers and overall CPO sales are outpacing last year’s numbers by 6.2% according to Auto Remarketing.  In fact, many manufacturers that were not in the CPO business are starting to put more emphasis on the program.  My good friend David Carp states in an article, “[Kia is] very excited about breaking an all- ...

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Used Prices Continue to Remain in Positive Territory

Auction prices for the week of October 18th – October 25th showed a mild continuation of the declines we have been seeing during the past few weeks.  Data on small cars continued to drop but at a rate just less than 1% for the week based on our tracking vehicles.  This represents the smallest week to week decline since late August.  Meanwhile truck prices showed little movement during week with prices on most vehicles remaining flat compared to last week’s values. At the subsegment level the largest declines for the week were on luxury models, minivans and mid-size cars with ...

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