Analysts share updates on retail, wholesale used-car supplies

CARY, N.C. – 

One of the impacts of stronger used-car retail sales is downward movement in supply, both in terms of retail and wholesale figures.

According to a mid-month update of the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, the supply of retail used vehicles was most recently at 34 days (based on a vAuto data-driven, seven-day estimate).

A typical level is 44 days, parent company Cox Automotive said in the analysis.

The most recent reading is even more interesting when you consider the peak of used retail supply was 115 days back in April, according to the Cox data.

On the wholesale side, the most recent seven-day reading of used supply was 24 days, according to the analysis. While that’s still above normal (23), it is down considerably from the April 9 peak, when Cox Automotive said wholesale supply reached 149 days.

In a separate analysis, Black Book also touched on used-car supply.

“Many dealers continue to report a shortage of used inventory in the wholesale marketplace. As a result, from the peak in February, we’ve seen a decline in the number of used retail listings by about 25%,” Black Book said in its weekly COVID-19 Market Updates report.

“The true shortage of the vehicles is probably not as severe as this decline would lead you to believe, as many dealers sell some of their best inventory in the first several days before listing them online,” it added. “Nevertheless, the shortage of used inventory helps keep retail prices elevated even in the weak economic conditions.”

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