DETROIT -- Prices of used vehicles hit an all-time high last month as softer new-car sales brought fewer trade-ins that dealers could sell into a strong used market.
The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, which gauges used-vehicle prices, reached 127.8 in May, the auto auction company said. That was up 6 percent from a year earlier and up from the previous record, set in April, of 126.6.
The index, which is adjusted for vehicle mileage, model and time of year, began in January 1995 at 100.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of new-vehicle sales dropped below 12 million as Japanese automakers face shortages resulting from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The sales rate, or SAAR, had been above 13 million for first four months of the year.
"The demand for used vehicles in the retail market remains healthy, but the falling pace of new-vehicle sales and the slowing economy are dampening actual used-vehicle sales," Manheim said in its monthly commentary.
Total used-vehicle retail sales decreased 1 percent in May from the previous year's amount, Manheim said, citing data compiled by CNW Research.