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August Increase May Indicate the Bottoming of Used Vehicle Prices for 2023

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Used Vehicle Prices May Have Bottomed for 2023 After August Increase

According to Cox Automotive, the prices of wholesale used vehicles may have reached their lowest point for the year. In August, prices increased for the first time since March, with Cox reporting a 0.2% rise in its Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index compared to July. While this increase is the smallest of the year, it marks a potential turning point after prices fell from their all-time highs due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions.

Stabilizing Wholesale Prices

Chris Frey, Cox's Senior Manager of Economic and Industry Insights, noted that August brought a halt to the decline in wholesale prices, albeit a modest one compared to the significant drops earlier in the year. Looking ahead, Frey expects wholesale used vehicle prices to remain relatively stable for the rest of the year due to tight inventories and anticipated sales levels, preventing any significant declines.

Retail Sales and Pricing Trends

Cox estimates that used vehicle retail sales in August increased by 5% compared to July, with a year-over-year growth of 0.8%. Although the average listed price for a used vehicle in July was $27,028, a decrease from the previous month, it still remains higher than historical levels.

Factors Driving Used Vehicle Prices

The elevated prices of used vehicles can be attributed to the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions, which led to sporadic production halts for new vehicles. The resulting low supply of new vehicles, coupled with strong consumer demand, pushed individuals towards the used vehicle market, further boosting prices.

Long-Term Recovery Outlook

Cox anticipates a gradual recovery in the used vehicle wholesale market, with prices expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2028. This projection suggests that while prices may stabilize in the near term, it will take several years for a complete recovery. In conclusion, the increase in wholesale used vehicle prices in August indicates a potential bottoming out for 2023. However, the market is expected to experience a slow recovery over the coming years. Businesses and consumers should closely monitor pricing trends and inventory levels in the used vehicle market as they make purchasing decisions.

Conclusion: Implications for New Businesses

The potential stabilization of used vehicle prices offers a critical insight for new businesses, particularly those in the automotive industry or related sectors.

Understanding Market Dynamics

The dynamics of the used vehicle market, as highlighted by the recent price increases, underscore the importance of understanding market trends and consumer behavior. For new businesses, this means staying informed about industry developments and adjusting strategies accordingly.
Preparing for Long-Term Recovery
Cox Automotive's projection of a gradual recovery to pre-pandemic levels by 2028 suggests that businesses should prepare for a long-term scenario. While the near-term outlook may seem stable, businesses must be ready to navigate potential fluctuations over the coming years. In conclusion, the recent developments in the used vehicle market provide a "hot take" on the importance of understanding market dynamics and preparing for long-term recovery. New businesses can leverage these insights to make informed decisions and position themselves for success in a changing market landscape.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/08/used-vehicle-prices-may-have-bottomed-for-2023.html
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