SAN DIEGO -- The shortage of recent-model used vehicles will keep used prices high through 2013, an analyst predicted.
The stocks of 2- to 5-year-old used cars and trucks will drop 19 percent in 2011 from 2010. Inventories of those vehicles then will plunge 35 percent more in 2012 and hit bottom in 2013 after a decline of 10 percent more, predicted Rene Abdalah, vice president of RVI Group, a Stamford, Conn., company that insures residual values for the vehicle-leasing industry.
"That will be the bottom; we're getting into a situation we've never seen before," he said.
The shrinkage in inventory, caused by slumping new-vehicle sales, will keep used-vehicle prices relatively high and dealers scrambling to supply their used-car lots, Abdalah said here this month during a presentation at the Kelley Blue Book Residual Value Symposium.
"For dealers, it will be a tough situation. They'll have to compete harder to get those vehicles," he said.
Abdalah said his company predicts that automakers competing for sales, will lower new-vehicle prices through subvented leasing and incentives. Lower new-car prices will help moderate used-vehicle prices, he said.
Abdalah added: "We're expecting used-car prices to continue to grow, but they won't be as high as you would imagine."