Black Book index slides for fourth straight month

Black Book is expecting wholesale movement for the remainder of the year to resemble what analysts observed in October, which produced a 1.2% decrease in the firm’s Used Vehicle Retention Index.

Now on a downward streak of four months in a row, the index dipped another 2.2 points from September’s reading to 174.3, which left it 3.3% below October of last year, but still 52% above the pre-pandemic level recorded in March 2020.

The Black Book Used Vehicle Retention Index is calculated using Black Book’s published wholesale average value on 2- to 6-year-old used vehicles, as percent of original typically equipped MSRP. It is weighted based on registration volume and adjusted for seasonality, vehicle age, mileage and condition.

“Wholesale prices for the 2-6-year-old vehicle segments that comprise of Black Book’s Used Vehicle Retention Index continued to decline in October at rates above expected seasonal depreciation,” Black Book chief data science officer Alex Yurchenko said in a news release.

“Typically, we observe the highest decreases of wholesale prices in Q4. This year will not be an exception, and we expect the declines in the next two months to match the historically high rates typically observed at the end of the year. We are also starting to see used retail prices decrease, although not as steeply as wholesale prices,” continued Yurchenko, who is among the speakers at Used Car Week, which begins on Nov. 14 in San Diego.

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