Manheim has released its review of car sales and vehicle prices for the second quarter of 2018.
Jonathan Smoke is the chief economist for Cox Automotive, the parent company of Manheim. He reports that while they usually predict some softening of the market during spring and summer, a surprising at the end of June made a big difference. “An unexpected bump in the last two weeks of June brought the second quarter to a stronger close than we anticipated,” he said. “The recent increase in sales helped the market regain ground in terms of keeping price performance ahead of 2017 numbers. Used-vehicle prices remain higher now compared to where they were at the beginning of any of the last three years.”
In the end, the market delivered an unexpected 0.53 percent increase over the three month period. The boost brought Cox Automotive’s Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 134.9, reflecting a 4.3 percent increase from a year ago.
A surge in used car demand is also fueling a rise in wholesale prices as dealers buckle down and begin to search for quality inventory. New car prices are struggling with affordability making quality used cars an attractive alternative for buyers who want a newer car without paying full sticker price on a truly new vehicle. The compact-car segment has also shown improvement and strength and it’s thought to be the result of dealers branching out in an effort to please price-conscious buyers.
On the flip side, new car sales continue to perform well, with a 5% year on year increase for June. This is primarily attributed to fleet sales. Retail sales remained flat through the first half of 2018 with new-vehicle SAAR in June coming in at 17.4 million.
Get the full story and check out the complete report over at Manheim.