After 34 years at Black Book, Ricky Beggs is retiring on April 1.
That such a fixture of the used-car world would retire seems like an April Fools’ joke. But it’s not; he’s really retiring.
Sure, there is an army of folks at the used-car guide book crunching numbers, analyzing data and standing in auction lanes recording actual transaction prices. Without a doubt, Black Book will continue churning out wholesale prices in increments representing used vehicles in extra clean, clean, average and rough conditions.
They’ll do it day in and day out. They’ll just do it without Ricky.
His official title is senior vice president and editorial director. But for many people, he represented the company.
For many years, Ricky was the public face at the used-car guide company that made it all make dollars and sense to dealers, automakers and even reporters. Always the consummate professional, Ricky is a straight shooter who has a knack for making the complicated business of pricing used cars and trucks a bit simpler and a lot more fun.
Those of us who care about and monitor used-vehicle prices looked forward to his weekly video blogs, a total of 488 since the summer of 2008. “Beggs on the Used Car Market” focused on price trends by segment, incorporating seasonal trends, the impact of fuel prices and anecdotal evidence drawn from conversations with dealers.
In those videos, Ricky always delivered his expert price commentary with an array of ever-changing items in the background: baseball caps, photographs, mugs and T-shirts representing various sports teams, auctions and industry organizations.
'Just us talking'
“We wanted it to be just us talking to the industry, our subscribers — just a conversation where we are talking about what’s going on in the marketplace,” recalled Beggs with his southern gentlemanly twang.
“It was a great way to communicate with the industry and a great way to communicate with people who followed Black Book.”
Beggs’ last video came out March 9. In addition to a University of Georgia cap in the background, there is a fly-fishing rod, fishing net and a motorcycle helmet.
When asked if these items are hints of what he plans to do once he retires, Beggs quipped: “There’s always something in the background that is relevant.”
Here’s wishing Ricky a happy retirement.