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.

 

Spring Bounce Ends Early This Year Due to COVID-19

Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) decreased 1.10% month-over-month in March. This brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 141.9, a 4.4% increase from a year ago.

After a start of increases in weekly Manheim Market Report (MMR) prices at the end of February, March saw the full-fledged start of tax refund season, which delivered the biggest weekly price increases since 2014. However, that all began to change as the month progressed. Three-year-old vehicle values in aggregate were up 1.7% after the first two weeks but began to decline and ended up 1% for the month. The worst-performing model year in March since the downturn began was MY 2019.

It should be noted that, given the unprecedented downturn in sales and market disruption that the industry is experiencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decline we have observed thus far in MMR values at the vehicle level and at all aggregation levels does not fully reflect the declines occurring in the relatively limited number of sales transactions taking place.

On a year-over-year basis, most major market segments saw seasonally adjusted price increases in March. Luxury cars and SUVs/CUVs outperformed the overall market, while most other major segments underperformed the overall market.

141.9 ⇑4.4%

Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index
March 2020

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January 1995 = 100

 

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January 1995 = 100

Price Changes for
Selective Market Classes

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March 2019 vs. March 2020

Negative retail results for vehicle sales year-over-year. According to Cox Automotive estimates, total used vehicle sales volume was down 18.4% year-over-year in March. We estimate the March used SAAR to be 32.0 million, down from 39.2 million last March and down from February’s 39.8 million rate. The March used retail SAAR estimate is 17.3 million, down from 20.6 million last year and down month-over-month from February’s 21.2 million rate.

March total new vehicle sales were down 37.9% year-over-year, with two fewer selling days compared to March 2019. The March SAAR came in at 11.4 million, a decrease from last year’s 17.3 million and down from February’s 16.7 million rate.

Combined rental, commercial, and government purchases of new vehicles were down 27.6% year-over-year in March. Commercial (-17.7%) and rental (-34.3%) fleet channels were down year-over-year in March. Retail sales of new vehicles were down 40.5% year-over-year in March, leading to a retail SAAR of 8.7 million, down from 13.8 million last March and down from February’s 13.3 million rate. This is the lowest monthly retail SAAR since February 2010. Fleet sales are down 11.4% in 2020 through Q1, and retail sales are down 13.1%, as the overall new vehicle market is down 12.7% so far this year.

New vehicle inventories came in over 3.7 million units.

Rental risk pricing increased. The average price for rental risk units sold at auction in March was up 7.3% year-over-year. Rental risk prices were up 3.0% compared to February. Average mileage for rental risk units in March (at 45,900 miles) was up 1% compared to a year ago and down 12% month-over-month. 

Coronavirus uncertainty amid declining conditions. National initial jobless claims jumped to 6.6 million for the week ending March 28. This was double the prior week’s record volume of 3.3 million. We will likely see a few more weeks of large new claims numbers, and we could see unemployment reach 10%–16% as a result. The U.S. lost more jobs in the last two full weeks of March than we did for the entire duration of the Great Recession. The extent of business closures, declining consumer confidence, and job and income losses point to the U.S. and most of the world heading into a recession quickly. The economic contraction in March and Q2 could be worse than at any point since WWII. The range of likely GDP real contraction for Q2 is from -10% to -18%.

The market and underlying economic conditions deteriorated rapidly in the second half of March; but because of the strong start of the month, the Manheim Index lost only 1.1% of its value. The decline in April is likely to be much more severe.

Index Release Dates

Manheim Consulting releases the latest update of its Used Vehicle Value Index on the fifth business day of each month. To receive a monthly reminder about this update, as well as reminders for Jonathan Smoke's quarterly conference calls, please email manheim.data@coxautoinc.com.

Quarterly Conference Call

Next Conference Call
Tuesday, Apr 7
11am ET

You are invited to join Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of Cox Automotive and compiler of the Manheim Index, as he discusses the major economic and industry trends that have shaped the quarter. Jonathan will also take your questions following the presentation.

Telephone
888-424-8151 US Toll Free

Conf. ID
9851 851#

You can also listen to a recording of the last call.

For questions or to RSVP for the quarterly conference call, please email manheim.data@coxautoinc.com.

Jonathan's presentation will be available one hour before the conference call.

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January 2020

October 2019

July 2019

April 2019