Despite a sharp drop in prices of large used SUVs, the average wholesale price of used vehicles in June topped year-ago levels. But the average price fell by 1.5 percent from May 2004.
June's average wholesale price of $9,361 per vehicle was 1.2 percent higher than in June 2003, according to ADESA, a vehicle auction company in Carmel, Ind.
Strong retail demand and a continuing decline in the number of off-lease vehicles are keeping overall prices firm, says Tom Kontos,
ADESA's vice president of industry relations and analytical services.
For all cars, June's average wholesale price of $8,325 was up 3.1 percent from June 2003. It was 0.7 percent below the average of May 2004.
The large-SUV segment had the heaviest losses in June. The segment's average wholesale price of $15,079 in June was 8.6 percent below the June 2003 average. It was 4.6 percent below the May 2004 average price.
The drop in large-SUV prices in June was the largest percentage decline for the segment in seven years, says Manheim, an Atlanta auction company. A monthly index compiled by Manheim measures changes in wholesale prices of used vehicles.
Manheim chief economist Tom Webb attributes much of the drop in wholesale prices of large SUVs to heavy incentives on new vehicles and to higher gasoline prices.
The overall Manheim index in June was 107.1, down from 107.9 in May 2004 and up from 104.3 in June 2003. The index is pegged to a base rate of 100 in January 1995.
The index is based on transaction prices of vehicles that Manheim sells for clients at its 85 U.S. auctions. It includes factors such as season, mileage, market segment and model mix.
ADESA bases its findings on AuctionNet data. Those figures include price information from Manheim, ADESA and other independent auction companies.