Average wholesale prices and retail used vehicle sales were strong in March, typifying the usual spring/tax season market uptick.  In addition, our analysis increasingly indicates that prices for car segments are beginning to hold up better, while crossover and SUV truck segments may be starting to have a tougher go.

In recent years, the opposite has been true.  As mentioned in previous commentaries, this is to be expected as more crossovers and SUVs start coming home to roost from strong new vehicle sales over the last few years.

Watch my Kontos Kommentary for March 2019 below:


According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of Wholesale Used Vehicle Prices by Vehicle Model Class, wholesale used vehicle prices in March averaged $11,095 – up 3.0% compared to February and up 2.5% relative to March 2018.  All segments experienced month-over-month increases, with car prices going up more than truck prices on average.

When holding constant for sale type, model-year age, mileage, and model class segment — using criteria that characterize off-lease units — prices were up significantly on a year-over-year basis for midsize cars but down substantially for midsize SUV/CUVs

All seller types saw monthly and annual average price increases.  Average wholesale prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers were up 3.7% month-over-month and up 0.1% year-over-year.  Prices for fleet/lease consignors were up 4.3% sequentially and up 2.3% annually.  Average prices for dealer consignors were up 5.7% versus February and up 2.0% relative to March 2018.

March CPO sales were up 25.7% from the prior month, but February had 4 fewer selling days, so the net gain was 11.7%.  Still, March CPO sales were the highest ever and up 2.7% year-over-year, according to figures from Autodata.