"Vehicles are once again depreciating assets," Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said in a news release. "As we look at the cumulative declines this year, we are down significantly and now expect to finish the year down nearly 14 percent in December."
Cox Automotive hasn't seen "declines like this" since the onset of the pandemic and the beginning of the Great Recession, Smoke added.
Wholesale prices declined in the first quarter of 2022, then continued falling on a milder scale in the second. But depreciation picked up steam and became "a bit more accelerated the last two months," said Chris Frey, Cox Automotive's senior manager of economic and industry insights.
"Our expectation is that depreciation over the next three months will be slower and lower than what we've just seen this past quarter," Frey said Friday, during a quarterly call discussing the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index results.
Used-retail sales took a hit, falling 8 percent in September from August. Sales were down 10 percent compared with September 2021 and down 18 percent from September 2019, according to Cox Automotive.
Average wholesale prices for 3-year-old vehicles, the largest model year cohort at Manheim's auctions, fell 2.5 percent during the last four weeks.
Cox estimated used-vehicle retail supply stood at 48 days at the end of September. That was down from 51 days at the end of August but up from 41 days in September 2021. Wholesale supply ended September at 27 days, down one day from August but higher than 19 days in September 2021.