Market Insights

Wholesale Prices, Week Ending April 22nd

The market continued to report increases last week, with sporty cars still reporting some of the largest gains. For comparison, in 2019 the segment reported only nine weeks of gains during the traditional spring market, but so far this season, the segment has reported 14 consecutive weeks of increases.

This Week                        Last Week      2017-2019   Average (Same Week)

Car segments                    +0.37%          +0.41%       +0.17%

Truck & SUV segments   +0.22%          +0.27%       +0.02%

Market                              +0.27%          +0.31%       +0.08%

Car Segments

On a volume-weighted basis, the overall car segment increased +0.37%. For reference, the previous week, cars increased by +0.41%.

  • All nine car segments increased last week.
  • Sporty car increased again last week, up +0.75%, marking the 14 consecutive week for an average weekly gain of +0.63%.
  • Compact car increased +0.52%, marking the 11th consecutive week of increases. The segment has averaged a weekly increase of +0.55% over the past 11 weeks.
  • Premium sporty car continued into positive territory for the second week in a row, with a gain of +0.03%.

Truck / SUV Segments

The volume-weighted, overall truck segment increased +0.22%, compared with the prior week’s increase of +0.27%.

  • Ten of the 13 truck segments reported increases last week.
  • Compact luxury crossovers ended the segment’s eight weeks of consecutive increases with a small -0.02% decline.
  • Minivans once again had the largest week-over-week gain at +0.62%, but it was the smallest single-week increase for the segment in five weeks.

Weekly Wholesale Index

The graphic below looks at trends in wholesale prices of 2- to 6-year-old vehicles, indexed to the first week of the year. The index is computed keeping the average age of the mix constant to identify market movements.

Calendar years 2020 and 2021 ended with used wholesale prices at elevated levels. With economic patterns, including the automotive market, driven by the pandemic, normal seasonal patterns in the wholesale market, e.g., the 2019 calendar year, were not observed for most of the last three years. We saw a similar picture in 2009at the end of the Great Recession. Calendar year 2021 did not have typical seasonality patterns, as the market had rapid increases in wholesale values for most of the year. The Wholesale Weekly Price Index reached the highest point of the year at the end of December 2021, reporting over 1.51 points. In 2022, the price index was on a mild rollercoaster until July, after which point, prices were on a continuous decline until the end of the year.

Retail (Used and New) Insights

  • Tesla made news again last week, with another round of price adjustments for the 2023 Model S and Model X. In addition, it's now offering unlimited super-charging to customers who take delivery before June 30.
  • Jaguar is entering the performance all-electric space with the announcement of its four-door GT model that is set to arrive in 2025 with a price tag of around $124,000.
  • The Lincoln Nautilus will be receiving a redesign for the 2024 model year and a new assembly location. The redesigned crossover will now be imported from China instead of the previous manufacturing facility in Ontario, which will be converted to produce electric vehicles for the brand.

Used Retail Prices

Used retail prices are more accessible than in years past due to the proliferation of "no-haggle pricing." Transparent pricing upfront makes the car-buying process more enjoyable for customers and allows Black Book to accurately measure retail market trends.

At the onset of the pandemic, in CY2020, used retail prices increased slightly, following typical seasonal patterns, and then began dropping in April, finally hitting a low point in the late spring months. By late summer of CY2020, used retail prices increased as supply of new-vehicle inventory started to become scarce, but retail demand slowed at the end of CY2020, resulting in declining retail asking prices for the last several weeks of the year. When CY2021 kicked off, demand rebounded while retail prices lagged slightly behind wholesale prices; March 2021 started the dramatic increases in used retail prices, fueled by stimulus payments, tax season, and shortages of new inventory. During the third quarter, retail prices continued to rise at a slower rate but soon picked up once again to start the fourth quarter, when prices steadily increased week after week. As CY2021 came to an end, the retail listing price index closed 36% above where the year began. The index remained relatively stagnant through most of CY2022. In the fourth quarter of 2022, Retail Listings Price Index declines started but were not as steep as the wholesale price index.

This analysis is based on approximately two million vehicles listed for sale on U.S. dealer lots. The graphic below looks at 2- to 6-year-old vehicles. The index is computed keeping the average age of the mix constant to identify market movements.


Used Retail

The Used Retail Active Listing Volume Index reverted back to one at the start of 2023. Currently, it sits at 0.95 points.

The used retail days-to-turn estimate is currently around 53.


Last week, auction conversion rates were stable, with the lane outcomes showing some mixed messages, depending on the remarketer’s strategy and location. It leads us to wonder if the spring market has now come to an end, if rates will continue to show mixed messages, or if once again, we will trend into clear rate movement. The general mood of those we’ve talked to is that we still have some weeks of high auction demand ahead of us. Whatever the case may be, Black Book will continue to monitor and report on developing trends to keep you informed.

The Estimated Average Weekly Sales Rate remained at 50% last week.

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