Wholesale prices of used vehicles rose by a slight 0.8 percent in August over the year-ago month, says ADESA Inc. Car prices drove the increase.
But last month's average vehicle price of $9,115 was 1.9 percent below the average price in July, says ADESA.
In contrast, Manheim reported a wholesale vehicle price increase of 0.3 percent in August compared with July. Manheim adjusts used-vehicle prices based on season, model mix and mileage.
The two auction companies agree that wholesale prices of cars in August were up substantially from August 2004.
The average wholesale price of used cars in August was $8,329, ADESA says. That was 5.7 percent higher than the year-ago figure.
In the sporty car segment, the average wholesale price rose 12.9 percent last month over August 2004, to $12,243. Last month's price was down 0.9 percent from July.
Tom Webb, Manheim's chief economist, said that "mid-sized cars, especially the newer used models, performed well in August."
Soaring gasoline prices and economic uncertainty caused by Hurricane Katrina helped depress wholesale prices of used SUVs, says Tom Kontos, ADESA's vice president of industry relations and analytical services.
Last month's average wholesale price of lower-mid-range used SUVs was $9,267. That was down 7.7 percent from August 2004 and 6.0 percent below July.
Large used SUVs commanded an average wholesale price of $13,129 in August. That was 7.2 percent below the August 2004 figure and 4.2 percent below the July price.
You may e-mail Arlena Sawyers at