Wholesale prices of used vehicles in 2005 showed their largest annual percentage gain in nine years.
Overall, used-vehicle prices rose 4.6 percent last year over 2004, said Manheim chief economist Tom Webb.
That increase occurred despite a price slump for used vehicles last summer, when the Big 3 offered employee pricing on new vehicles, Webb noted.
"There's no doubt the pricing environment for used vehicles in 2005 was very strong," Webb told Automotive News.
In December, prices of used cars and trucks increased in nearly every segment over November 2005 and December 2004, Manheim and ADESA Analytical Services reported. Analysts attributed the increase to:
The major exception was large used SUVs. And even that segment maintained a price rebound in December, analysts said.
The average wholesale price of used vehicles last month was $9,873. That was 6.6 percent more than the average price in December 2004 and 2.5 percent more than in November 2005.
For large used SUVs, the average wholesale price in December was $13,797. That was 2.3 percent less than in the year-ago month, but 5.2 percent higher than in November 2005.
For all of 2005, Webb said, prices of large used SUVs fell 7 percent.
Tom Kontos, ADESA's vice president of industry relations and analytical services, called the year-over-year decline in SUV prices modest.
"The potential that large SUV prices hit bottom earlier in 2005 is getting more and more likely," Kontos said. "Those prices have leveled off and started to increase."
Webb said he agrees that prices of large used SUVs have stabilized.
The segment's price gains in November and December, he said, nearly offset declines in the previous two months.
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