Average wholesale prices and retail used vehicle sales were strong in March, typifying the usual spring/tax season market uptick.  In addition, car segments are beginning to hold up better, while crossover and SUV truck segments may be starting to have a tougher go, according to ADESA Analytical Services.  

According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of Wholesale Used Vehicle Prices by Vehicle Model Class, wholesale used vehicle prices in March averaged $11,095.

This is up 3 percent compared to February and up 2.5 percent compared to March 2018.  All segments experienced month-over-month increases, with car prices going up more than truck prices on average.

The average interest rate on a new vehicle loan hit its highest level in a decade, according to Edmunds.

The annual percentage rate (APR) on new financed vehicles is expected to average 6.36 percent in March, compared to 5.66 percent in March 2018 and 4.44 percent five years ago.

Edmunds reports buyers were able to find more 0-percent finance offers in March compared to the first two months of the year, but these deals are much harder to come by than they have been historically. About 4 percent of all financed deals in March had zero percent interest rates, compared to 7.44 percent last year and 7.59 percent in 2014.

Edmunds data shows shoppers receiving interest rates of 10 percent or higher constituted 14.1 percent of the market in March, the highest level seen since February 2008.

CarMax Inc. reported that net sales and operating revenues increased 5.7 percent to $4.32 billion in the quarter ended Feb. 28.

Used unit sales in comparable stores increased 2.8 percent in the quarter.

Total used unit sales rose 5.6 percent in the quarter.

Total wholesale unit sales increased 3.7 percent in the quarter.

CarMax Auto Finance income increased 2.6 percent to $103.7 million in the quarter.

Consumer confidence took a big drop in March.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index declined to 124.1 after rising to 131.4 in February.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was less favorable. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased to 16.4 percent from 19 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased to 13.4 percent from 12.3 percent.

Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement rose slightly, to 21 percent from 20.6 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease declined, to 7.6 percent from 8.3 percent.

The number one brand that speaks to Millennial shoppers and younger is Chevrolet, according to the latest study by Autolist.com. 

Much of this appeal has to do with how the Chevy brand resonates with a younger cohort of buyers who are highly sensitive to conspicuous consumption and value. 

Autolist polled 1,750 current car shoppers and asked them which brand they believed was most relevant to their age group, which brand they would buy today and which brand they currently owned.

Chevy was the top answer to all three questions by Millennials and Gen Z buyers (anyone under 36). 

Chevy's smaller vehicles like the Spark, Cruze and Trax have obvious appeal to younger, price-conscious shoppers. But there are other Chevy models that rank high in purchase consideration among younger buyers.

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