Thursday, 07 October 2021 17:19

Wholesale Used-Vehicle Prices Hit Record High Amid New-Vehicle Inventory Shortages


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Wholesale used-vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage- and seasonally-adjusted basis) increased 5.3% month over month in September.

This brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 204.8, a 27.1% increase from a year ago and a record high.


"When the Manheim Index hit a record high of 203 in June, we believed that numbers in the 200s would be behind us for some time," said Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. "However, the new-vehicle production problem worsened instead of getting better in Q3. Used inventory issues were further exacerbated by damage to vehicles caused by Hurricane Ida in late August, putting pressure on an already historically tight market and driving the MUVVI up to a record of 204.8." 


Manheim Market Report (MMR) prices saw accelerating weekly increases throughout September. MMR is a valuation tool used by tens of thousands of consignors and dealers to assess millions of trade-ins each month. MMR is designed to be highly stable and avoid overreacting to short-term market ups and downs and provides an accurate measure of vehicle valuations regardless of market conditions.


The sales conversion rate also increased to 65% over the course of September, which is significantly higher than is typically seen this time of year and indicates that buyers were more aggressive throughout the month. For reference, the average conversion rate in September 2019 was 52%.


Over the four full weeks in the month of September, the Three-Year-Old Index increased a net 4.6%. Over the month of September, MMR Retention, which is the average difference in price relative to current MMR, averaged 100.8, which meant market prices were ahead of MMR values.


On a year-over-year basis, all major market segments saw seasonally adjusted wholesale price increases in September. Vans and sport utility vehicles had the largest year-over-year performance, while the remaining car and pickup segments...

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