Wholesale Market Slows, Used Supply Increases

By Staff Writer January 10, 2022

Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 1.6% month over-month in December. This brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to a record high of 236.2, a 46.6% increase from a year ago. The non-adjusted price change, however, declined 1.1% from November, leaving the unadjusted average price up 43.4% year over year.

"The wholesale auction market began to slow in the final weeks of the year, but prices typically bounce in the spring," said Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. "We don't anticipate 2022 will be an exception, especially with record-level tax refunds expected and ongoing inventory challenges. Unfortunately for consumers, it will be the second half of 2022 before we begin to see normal price depreciation again, barring any further supply chain disruptions. Uncertainty exists around what, if any, impact the Omicron variant will have on supply chain and inventory."

According to Cox Automotive estimates, total used-vehicle sales were down 4% year over year in December. The December used-vehicle seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of sales was 39.1 million, down from 40.6 million last December and flat compared to November's revised 39.1 million SAAR. The December used retail SAAR estimate is 20.4 million, down from 21.6 million last year and flat month over month.

In the final weeks of 2021, used-vehicle retail supply moved higher while the average listing price climbed past $27,000 for the first time, according to the Cox Automotive analysis of vAuto Available Inventory data. Normal used retail inventory is about 44 days' supply. It ended December at 54 days, above normal levels. Wholesale supply was also elevated, ending December at 33 days, above the normal supply of 23.

Rate this item
(1 Vote)
Last modified on Monday, 17 January 2022 16:44