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Used-vehicle prices at dealerships jump

The retail price of a used vehicle sold by franchised dealers was up $412 from 1999 to last year, averaging $13,648.

That's according to "NADA Data," the National Automobile Dealer Association's annual analysis of the retail auto industry.

Paul Taylor, NADA chief economist and author of the report, said several things fueled the average used-vehicle price increase:

Record sales of new vehicles and the popularity of leasing over the last few years have created a large pool of late-model used vehicles. That, coupled with consumer preference for used vehicles with more optional equipment, has helped drive up the average retail price.

"This nearly new market has been developing the last several years," Taylor said.

Released in August, the report said that franchised dealers sold 20.5 million used vehicles in 2000, up from 20.1 million in 1999. Retail sales accounted for 12.6 million of the used vehicles sold by dealers, while 7.9 million were wholesaled.

Trade-ins were the biggest source of vehicles sold at retail by franchised dealers totaling 60 percent in 2000 vs. 62 percent in 1999.

The report also revealed that the average dealership used-vehicle department sales were $8,342,603 in 2000, up 5.9 percent over the previous year.

As a percentage of total dealership sales, used-vehicle department sales in 2000 were 28.6 percent, slightly down from 28.9 percent in 1999.

You can reach Arlena Sawyers at asawyers@crain.com

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