Used Vehicle Value Index
By applying statistical analysis to its database of more than 5 million used vehicle transactions annually, Manheim has developed a measurement of used vehicle prices that is independent of underlying shifts in the characteristics of vehicles being sold. View the index methodology.
The Manheim Index is increasingly recognized by both financial and economic analysts as the premier indicator of pricing trends in the used vehicle market, but should not be considered indicative or predictive of any individual remarketer's results.
Wholesale Prices up Second Consecutive Month in May
Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 1.25% month-over-month in May. This brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 134.2, which was a 4.9% increase from a year ago and the highest level since last November.
Looking at trends in weekly Manheim Market Report (MMR) prices, the traditional spring bounce this year started three weeks later than it did in 2016 and earlier years and peaked in April in week 15. Used vehicle prices are now moving down but remain higher now compared to where they were at the beginning of the year than any of the last three years. Price comparisons to last year are starting to get tougher as 2017 saw very low depreciation starting in May and lasting throughout the summer.
On a year-over-year basis, all major market segments saw price gains in May. Compact cars, SUVs/CUVs, and vans outperformed the overall market, while midsize cars and pickups underperformed the overall market.
Mixed results for vehicle sales in May. According to Cox Automotive estimates, used vehicle sales volume decreased by 1% year-over-year in May versus last year. The annualized pace of used vehicle sales is up 1% over last year. We estimate the May used SAAR to be 39.7 million, flat on a month-over-month basis.
May new vehicle sales increased 5% year-over-year, with one more selling day compared to May 2017. May SAAR came in at 16.8 million, up from last year’s 16.7 million; this breaks the streak of eight straight months of new SAAR coming in at or above 17.0 million. Cars continue to see sharp declines as sales in May fell 9% compared to last year. Light trucks outperformed cars in May and were up 14% year-over-year.
Combined rental, commercial, and government purchases of new vehicles were up 18% year-over-year in May, led by increases in commercial (+2%) and rental (+30%) fleet channels.
New vehicle inventories came in under 4 million units for the first time in three months, and inventories are at their lowest levels since January.
Rental risk pricing strengthens. The average price for rental risk units sold at auction in May was up 8% year-over-year. Rental risk prices were down 1% compared to April. Average mileage for rental risk units in May (at 43,000 miles) was 11% above a year ago but down 1% month-over-month.
Continued strong economic momentum. The Employment Report for May was much stronger than expected as job creation increased to 223,000 when analysts had expected 190,000. The prior two monthly numbers were also revised up for a net increase of 15,000 more jobs than originally estimated. Consumer Confidence, as measured by the Conference Board, increased in May to 128, the second highest level for the year and the third best level in more than 17 years.