The average wholesale price of used vehicles sold at auction in July exceeded the year-ago price. But it was lower than the average price in June 2004.
July's average used-vehicle price of $9,295 was 0.9 percent below June's average price of $9,378. It was 2.1 percent higher than the July 2003 average price of $9,103, according to ADESA Inc., an auto auction company in Carmel, Ind.
Tom Kontos, ADESA's vice president of industry relations and analytical services, says small and mid-range cars showed the biggest year-over-year percentage price increase last month. The large-SUV segment had the largest price decline.
Kontos says dealers seem to be favoring more fuel-efficient cars over gasoline guzzling SUVs.
He adds: "High July incentives on large trucks and the relative abundance of these vehicles at auction were additional contributing factors to their depressed prices."
The average large-SUV price of $15,004 in July showed a year-over-year decline of 6.3 percent. It was 0.5 percent below the June average price.
The average price of small and mid-range cars in July was $7,146, a 5.4 percent increase over July 2003. But it was 2.2 percent below the June price.
Tom Webb, chief economist of the Manheim auction company, says higher gasoline prices remain "a very significant factor that is slowing the overall (used-vehicle) market, not just any particular segment."
The Manheim used-vehicle prices index stood at 106.5 in July, down from 107.1 in June. The index was up from 105.1 in July 2003. It started at a base rate of 100 in January 1995.
The index is based on transaction prices of vehicles Manheim sells for clients at its 85 U.S. auctions. It take into account such factors 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 auction companies.