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NADAUCG: Wholesale Depreciation Remains Steady in October

November 16, 2016

MCCLEAN, Va. — Wholesale prices for vehicles up to eight years in age fell 3.6% in October, which is typically one of the softest months of the year in terms of used-vehicle prices, according to the NADA Used Car Guide. However, the decline was slightly more this October than the previous three-year average decline of 3.3% for the period.

Still, the drop, which matched September for the biggest decline of 2016, was in line with the NADA Used Car Guide’s forecasted range of 3.2% to 3.7% for October. And as a result of the month’s performance, the firm’s seasonally adjusted used vehicle price index fell 0.5% to 117.2.

“Similar to September, price movement at the segment level was led once again by small cars,” the firm noted in its monthly “NADA Used Car Guide Industry Update” report. “Subcompact car losses reached 4.7%, which is a greater loss than the segment’s previous three-year average decline of 3.4% for the period.

“Subcompact car losses were broad-based across model years, however, prices fell most for GM, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Ford models,” the firm added

Outside of small cars, mid-size vans and large cars experienced some of the largest losses on the mainstream side of the market — the pair declining 4.4% and 4%, respectively. October’s performance was the worst recorded for both segments so far in 2016. It was also 0.2 to 0.5 points worse than what’s occurred during the previous three-year period for each segment.

“With the exception of large and mid-size pickup trucks, which continued to experience extremely light losses, remaining mainstream segments performed more in line with the industry average for the month,” the firm noted in its report. “Prices of mid-size utilities fell by 3.7%, which was the segment’s worse showing since October 2013. Prices for the segment were particularly soft for the 2013 and 2014 model years, with 2013 Ford Edge and Nissan Pathfinder prices falling the most for the month.”

Large utility prices were unusually soft for the third month in a row, with prices falling 2.4%. That was 0.7 point more than the segment’s previous 2.7% three-year average for the period. “Since August, prices for large utilities have fallen by an average of 3%, nearly double the 1.4% loss experienced during the same period in 2015,” the firm said.

Losses for remaining mainstream segments ranged between 3.8% for compact cars to 3.2% for compact utilities. As for large and mid-size pickup trucks, losses were just 2.3% and 1.5%, respectively. “While losses for large pickups were still very low, October’s performance was the segment’s worst showing since October 2015,” the firm noted.

Losses for luxury segments were “once again scattered,” according to the firm, with luxury compact cars declining the most with a 4.4% wholesale price drop. This was the segment’s worst post-recession performance, with losses for the category over the previous three-year period averaging only 2.6%.

“Luxury mid-size cars didn’t fare much better; prices for the group fell by 4.1%,” the firm stated in its report. “October’s performance was also significantly worse than the segment’s 2.6% average decline recorded over the previous three-year period.

“Remaining luxury segment losses in October all fell below the industry average,” the firm added.

Luxury large utility and luxury large cars experienced price declines of more than 3% each for the third consecutive month, with wholesale prices for both segments falling 3.5% and 3.4%, respectively. “October’s losses are roughly one point higher than the pair’s previous three-year combined average of 2.4% for the period,” the firm stated.

Luxury compact utility and mid-size utility prices firmed up after leading luxury segment depreciation in September. As a result, according to the firm, October prices settled at 3.1% and 2.8%, respectively.

The NADA Used Car Guide’s used-vehicle price index was 3.7% below last year’s 10-month average. “In depreciation terms, used-vehicle prices were 15.4% lower through October relative to all of 2015,” the firm noted. “For comparison, last year’s depreciation reach a much lower 12.2% over the course of the same period.”

Mainstream segment level depreciation was led by subcompact cars, with prices falling by an average of 24.2% so far in 2016. Compact and mid-size car depreciation reached 19.6% and 17.8%, respectively.

Truck and utility segment depreciation is still on the rise. However, the segment continues to be much lower compared to cars. “As a result, mid-size pickup prices were down by 8.1% through October, while large pickup and large utility prices were off by 7.6% and 7.8%, respectively,” the firm noted.

Losses across luxury segments were similar to their mainstream counterparts, the firm added, noting that depreciation ranged from 15.1% for luxury large utility to 19.1% for luxury large car.

Looking ahead, the NADA Used Car Guide’s November 2016 forecast has prices of vehicles up to eight year in age falling by 1.3% to 1.8% vs. October. The anticipated drop is right in line with the 1.5% decline averaged for the month in 2015. Additionally, mainstream car, truck and utility prices are all expected to fall by roughly 1.5% and 2%, while luxury segment losses are expected to be slightly greater at 1.7% to 2.5%.

“Looking forward, monthly losses are expected to be around 1% in both December and January before increasing through February and the spring market,” the firm stated. “NADA Used Car Guide’s full-year 2016 forecast remains unchanged, with prices expected to be down by an average of 4% on an index basis from 2015.”

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