Black Book released its Used Vehicle Retention Index for June 2020 (115.1), a +9.1-point change from May (106.0).

“Fueled by Federal stimulus and a lack of new inventory, retail demand for used vehicles in June was strong,” said Alex Yurchenko, senior vice president, data science. “Additionally, limited used supply due to various factors (e.g. delayed lease returns, pause in many delinquency repositions and limited throughput of auctions) helped used prices to bounce back to pre-COVID-19 levels. Black Book’s Seasonally Adjusted Retention Index jumped a record 8.6 percent in June, matching the value of the Index in 2019. Due to weak economic conditions, we do not expect this strength to continue, and we project a drop in values later this summer.”

 Black Book’s Seasonally Adjusted Retention Index for Wholesale for 2019-20
Black Book’s Seasonally Adjusted Retention Index for Wholesale 2019-20

The Black Book Used Vehicle Retention Index is calculated using Black Book’s published Wholesale Average value on two- to six-year-old used vehicles, as percent of original typically equipped MSRP. It is weighted based on registration volume and adjusted for seasonality, vehicle age, mileage, and condition. The Index offers an accurate, representative, and unbiased view of the strength of today’s used vehicle market values.

The Index dates to January 2005, where Black Book published a benchmark index value of 100.0 for the market. During 2008, the index dropped by 14.1 percent while during 2016, the index fell by just 6.4 percent. During 2011, the index rose strongly from 113.3 to 123.0 by the end of the year as the economy picked up steam and used vehicle values rose higher. It continued to remain relatively stable, rising slightly until May of 2014 when it hit a peak of 128.1.

Subaru of America, Inc. reported 53,911 vehicle sales for June 2020, a 12 percent decrease compared with record June 2019. These results reflect the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding economic recovery. Following eleven consecutive years of sales records, Subaru reported year-to-date sales of 267,110, a 21 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2019.

“Our June results are a testament to the perseverance of our retailers, who overcame difficult circumstances to achieve our sales target,” said Thomas J. Doll, President and CEO, Subaru of America, Inc. “We place a high premium on the satisfaction of our owners resulting in loyalty to our retailer’s franchise and our brand. These June results demonstrate the proven value our products provide, best delivered through our trusted retailers.”

“We are pleased to close June with strong sales in the midst of a competitive market limited by the pandemic,” said Jeff Walters, Senior Vice President of Sales. “The Forester continued to shine in our lineup of all-star vehicles, drawing a healthy demand from car buyers looking for vehicles they can rely on when times are tough.”


Sales Figures for Subaru for June 2020




  Percent Chg



  Percent Chg











 32.1 percent



 -0.4 percent




 -39.0 percent



 -37.3 percent




 16.4 percent



 -16.5 percent




 -13.3 percent



 -21.7 percent




- 36.3 percent



 -31.7 percent




 -41.5 percent



 - 33.5 percent




 17.2 percent



 -37.5 percent




 -10.1 percent



 -21.8 percent




 -12.4 percent



 - 21.3 percent


Auction Academy has launched a virtual classroom for the remainder of 2020 for its current Class 6 Group, reports Auction Academy President Penny Wanna. The group’s  previously-scheduled quarterly meetings for 2020 will be replaced by monthly virtual sessions, beginning June 22. In-person/on-site training and education sessions will resume in February of 2021.

Penny Wanna
 President, Auction Academy
Penny Wanna, AA president

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and  its many effects on our daily lives, Auction Academy has made the difficult decision to not host any in-person sessions for the rest of 2020,” said Wanna, who notes that the change comes half-way through (this class group’s) original two-year course syllabus.  “The remaining four sessions will be scheduled on a quarterly basis in 2021.”

Wanna reports that although students and staff will not meet in its traditional in-person format, Auction Academy is taking measures to continue the Class Group’s momentum, stay connected and provide the current students with a learning environment. A virtual schedule will include monthly interactive video sessions through the end of the year, which will alternate between a leadership focus and an industry topic.

“While we were all initially disappointed to cancel the in-person sessions,” said Wanna, “we have great expectations that the restructured virtual program will help fill the void and continue the all-important progress Class 6 has made in its training process.

“We have an excellent curriculum lined up through the second half of 2020, and will continue with quarterly in-person training next year, culminating in Class 6 Group’s rescheduled Graduation in September of 2021 during the NAAA Convention in Chicago. 

Auction Academy’s 1st virtual session convened on Monday, June 22, providing an opportunity for students and staff to reconnect as a group and to discuss in depth the details of the program going forward. Monthly virtual sessions will continue through the end of the year; In person/on-site training and education sessions will resume in February of 2021.

 Auction Academy’s first virtual session convened on Monday, June 22, providing an opportunity for students and staff to reconnect as a group and to discuss in depth the details of the program going forward.  Monthly sessions beginning in July will lead off with a presentation by David Walsh of JM Family Enterprises, who will discuss “Leading during a Pandemic.” Successive months’ topics will include OSHA training, online sales processes, and professional leadership training.

Manheim began adding 12 sites to its list of in-lane bidding pilot sites starting July 6.

Digital Block sales offer in-lane bidding at Manheim physical auctions with a live auctioneer and Simulcast. The vehicle never physically moves across the block during the auction process; it is only displayed on-screen. As the safety of Manheim’s team members and clients remain the company’s top priority, in-lane bidding pilots could be postponed if rising pandemic levels occur.

“As we continue to move forward with our re-opening plans, we saw great success with our return to in-lane bidding at our five initial pilot sites,” said Alan Lang, Manheim’s division vice president. “After two weeks of safety reviews, we are now ready to expand to 12 additional locations. For all pilot sites, we established strict safety protocols, including requiring facial coverings, social distancing and a daily review of pandemic data in each market.”

Sites added the week of July 6 include: Manheim Utah, Manheim San Antonio, Manheim Denver, Manheim Nevada, Manheim Cincinnati, Manheim Cleveland, Manheim New Orleans, Manheim Lafayette, Manheim Albany, Manheim Poplar Bluff, Manheim Little Rock and Rome Auto Auction, GA (digital sale operated using Manheim technology and staff).

ACV Hits Milestones

July 03, 2020

ACV Auctions Inc., a digital automotive marketplace for dealers and commercial partners, continues to experience significant momentum and announced that May and June 2020 were the largest sales months in the company’s history. The company sold 31,350 wholesale vehicles of the forty-five thousand unique vehicles listed on the platform in May and 40,242 of the fifty-three thousand listed in June. By the end of June, sell through rate climbed to nearly 75 percent of overall unique vehicles listed. The company also inspected more than twenty-five thousand vehicles for their off-lease and True360 retail inspection businesses – a 66 percent month over month increase. 

Auto auction's move online in response to COVID-19
Auto auctions move to online sales in response to COVID-19

The past few months have been difficult for the automotive industry. Without foot traffic to dealerships, dealers have accelerated their move to digital. ACV is enabling the adoption of new processes and tools that are helping dealers fuel retail and wholesale sales.

“It’s now apparent that the shift to digital is imperative to facilitate long-term growth,” said ACV Auctions CEO George Chamoun. “I’m proud of my team for being ready to jump in and help dealers during these challenging times. The combined efforts from our dealer partners and my team have led to unprecedented sales momentum, further validating the adoption to digital within wholesale inventory.”

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