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Dealers can purchase used vehicles for less, but customers also pay less.

Used Vehicle Index Value Plummets Again

The $18,151 used-vehicle price in April was down 14% from April 2023, reports Manheim.

For April, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index for used vehicles sold at dealer-only wholesale auctions continued to follow a long-term downward trend, to an index value of 198.4. That’s down 14% vs. a year ago.

According to data from the Manheim auction firm, which is part of Atlanta-based Cox Automotive, the Manheim Index has fallen below the year-ago month for 20 consecutive months.

The seasonally adjusted average wholesale, used-vehicle price was $18,151 in April. That’s down 14 % vs. $21,113 in April 2023, Manheim says.

The upside for dealers is used vehicles to be purchased for resale are getting to be more affordable, but the downside is customers are less willing to pay more.

For context, the Manheim Index peaked at 257.7 in December 2021 and January 2022 before new- and used-vehicle supply began to gradually recover with a comeback in new-vehicle production.

The Manheim Index is designed as a single measure that tracks used-vehicle wholesale price changes. It is weighted for a changing mix of product segments and mileage and is seasonally adjusted. The index is calculated relative to a starting point, where January 1997 equals 100.

Based on separate reports of first-quarter financial results, the six large, publicly traded auto retail chains had mixed results for retail used-vehicle sales volume in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same quarter a year earlier, including some volume gains and some losses.

However, the public groups all report lower gross profit per used vehicle retailed, to an average of $1,726 per unit, down 11% vs. a year ago. Gross profit per new vehicle fell even more sharply in the first quarter on average, to $3,905, down 27.1% vs. a year ago.

As new-vehicle inventory grows, competition heats up, and new-vehicle incentives start to reappear., Analysts say greater availability and better deals on new vehicles are diluting some used-vehicle demand.

According to Manheim, wholesale auction prices fell in April among all major product segments, with compact cars, midsize cars and electric vehicles falling more than average. Luxury brands fell less than average.



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