Retail sales of used vehicles dipped in September as the barrage of new-car incentives continued. But the average wholesale price of used vehicles last month exceeded the year-ago level. It also was slightly higher than in August.
ADESA Corp. of Carmel, Ind., reports the average wholesale price of used vehicles in September was $9,057. That was a 1.6 percent increase over the September 2003 price, and 0.1 percent higher than the price this August.
Tom Kontos, ADESA's vice president of industry relations and analytical services, says slow retail sales and heavy new-car incentives usually depress wholesale prices.
But lower volumes of off-lease vehicles buoyed prices in September, he says.
Retail used-vehicle sales last month were down 6.3 percent from September 2003, Kontos says, citing data from CNW Marketing/Research Inc. in Bandon, Ore.
The large-SUV segment continues to be the biggest price loser.
The average wholesale price of large SUVs was $13,982 in September. That was down 10.5 percent from September 2003 and 1.2 percent from this August.
The Manheim Used-Vehicle Value Index was at 106.3 in September, up from 106.2 in August.
Manheim, the nation's largest auto auction company, bases its index on vehicle transaction prices at its 85 U.S. auctions. The index takes into account factors such as season, mileage, market segment and model mix.
Tom Webb, Manheim's chief economist, says wholesale prices of used vehicles rose 0.1 percent from August to last month. But those prices were down 0.7 percent before they were seasonally adjusted, he says.
ADESA bases its price findings on AuctionNet data. Those figures include price information from Manheim, ADESA and other auction companies.
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