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Manheim's 'Used Car Market Report' Shows Growth, Stability

January 28, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — Growth in wholesale volumes as well as new- and used-vehicle sales, and stability in wholesale pricing were among the highlights of another strong year in the automotive markets, according to trends identified in Manheim's annual Used Car Market Report. The Report was released last week at the 2015 NADA Convention & Expo.

"While last year was a banner year for growth and stability in the used-vehicle market, we anticipate that we'll see the sixth consecutive year of increased new-vehicle sales in 2015," said Cox Automotive Chief Economist Tom Webb. "These sales increases will drive auction volumes higher for many years to come. This, plus the increased importance of the used-vehicle market, will reinforce remarketing's critical link in the automotive ecosystem."

In its 20th year, the report provides a comprehensive look at the various segments of the automotive industry, along with a series of brief case studies and highlights from previous editions. The following are some of the conclusions in this year’s edition:

Overall New- and Used-Vehicle Markets

  • New-vehicle sales rose for the fifth consecutive year in 2014.
  • At slightly more than 42 million, used-vehicle sales were virtually unchanged from 2013.

 

Vehicle Remarketing Industry

  • The National Automobile Auction Association (NAAA) volumes increased 5% to 8.6 million and are expected to continue growing this year.
  • After declining in the previous two years, wholesale used vehicle prices increased 1.5% in 2014.
  • The last four years have shown the least volatility in wholesale pricing since the inception of the Manheim Used Vehicle Index in 1995

 

Dealers

  • Used-vehicle operations produced record profits.
  • Certified pre-owned sales totaled a record 2.3 million units.
  • Dealer consignment volumes at wholesale auctions remained at historically high levels.

 

Rental

  • Rental industry revenue grew for the fifth-straight year to a record $26.1 billion.
  • Weather and recalls presented rental car companies with challenges and opportunities in 2014.

 

Leasing

  • Lease originations exceeded 3.5 million for the first time since 1999.
  • The rise in off-lease volume in 2014 was only the beginning, considering that new lease originations have been on a steady rise for five years.

 

Repossessions

  • Repossessions increased 8% in 2014 to an estimated 1.5 million
  • Total auto loans outstanding rose to nearly $1 trillion by year's end.

 

Fleet

  • New-car and light-duty vehicle purchases into commercial and government fleets increased by 7% to 850,000 units in 2014.
  • Wholesale prices for end-of-service fleet vehicles were at record highs in early 2014 but eventually dipped below 2013 and 2012 levels.

 

International and Export Markets

  • The overall global new-car market reached 43 million units in the first half of 2014
  • China continues to be the largest new-car market in the world, while Brazil lost its fourth place position to Germany in 2014 and the U.K. overtook Russia for seventh place
  • Increased confidence in buying on the Internet has led to international dealers relying more heavily on these platforms to buy used cars from the U.S. and other markets.

 

Salvage

  • Prices for salvage units at Manheim auctions increased modestly and volumes rose by 8,000 units.
  • The trend of international buyers acquiring vehicles from salvage auctions continued.

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