It would appear that the 2019 spring/tax season market started later but lasted longer than other years, as average wholesale prices were up on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis in May. Retail used vehicle sales, including CPO sales, provided demand-side support for wholesale values.


According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of Wholesale Used Vehicle Prices by Vehicle Model Class, wholesale used vehicle prices in May averaged $11,667—up 1.5% compared to April and up 5.0% relative to May 2018. Compact and midsize cars were two notable segments that experienced overall average price declines for the month.

However, when holding constant for sale type, model-year age, mileage, and model class segment — using criteria that characterize off-lease units — prices were up more significantly on a year-over-year basis for midsize cars than for midsize SUV/CUVs, as seen in the following table:

Average wholesale prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers were down 1.2% month-over-month and down 0.7% year-over-year.  Prices for fleet/lease consignors were up 2.0% sequentially and up 5.5% annually. Average prices for dealer consignors were up 1.7% versus April and up 4.3% relative to May 2018.

Based on NADA data, retail used vehicle sales by franchised dealers were up 1.4% year-over-year in May, but were down 1.0% for independent dealers. May CPO sales were up 7.8% from the prior month and up 1.1% year-over-year, according to figures from Autodata. On a year-to-date basis, CPO sales are up 1.5% versus last year.

NOTE: There is no Kontos Kommentary video this month due to travel. Stay tuned for a video in next month’s Kontos Kommentary.