Wholesale used-vehicle prices rose in May from both April and the year-ago month.
The average wholesale price of used vehicles in May was $9,926, says Tom Kontos, vice president of industry relations and analytical services for ADESA Inc.
That figure was 4.5 percent higher than the average price of $9,503 in May 2004. It was 1.4 percent above the average price of $9,787 in April.
Tom Webb, chief economist at Manheim, says many more retired rental vehicles returned to the market in May than in April.
"The typical rental unit sells for about $15,000 and the typical nonrental unit sells for about $10,000," Webb says. "So if you have a significant increase in rental units, and you're not adjusting for that, you're going to have prices increasing."
Wholesale prices of large used SUVs declined in May compared with the year-ago month. They leveled off from April's prices.
The average price of large SUVs was $15,139 in May, down 4.2 percent from May 2004, ADESA reports. It was 0.9 percent above the average price in April.
Wholesale prices of full-sized used pickups showed the biggest month-to-month decline among all vehicle segments in May. Those prices previously had held up well.
The average wholesale price of full-sized pickups in May was $11,448. That is 0.5 percent below the May 2004 price and 3.6 percent below the April price.
Webb says an increase in sales incentives on new full-sized pickups in May helped drive down prices of used full-sized trucks.
Citing data from CNW Marketing/Research Inc., ADESA's Kontos says franchised dealerships' used-vehicle retail sales fell 4.5 percent in May from the year-ago month.
Sales were down 3.8 percent for independent used-car dealers, Kontos says.
Adds Kontos: "The loss in retail sales momentum is worth monitoring and factoring into price expectations for June."
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