Lane watch: Truck values dip for first time in 15 weeks


After racing higher when auctions began to move vehicles through the wholesale market again after the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, values are starting to make a noticeable turn lower, according to Black Book’s newest COVID-19 Market Insights released on Tuesday.

While the dollar amount might only fetch a drive-thru meal for you and your spouse, Black Book analysts noticed that their volume-weighted information for trucks showed values for the segment (including pickups, SUVs and vans) dipped by 0.07% or $13 last week.

However, Black Book said this decrease was the first one in the overall truck market in 15 weeks, dating all the way back to May 11.

Analysts noticed the sub-compact segments triggered the overall decline for trucks with the hardest hit being sub-compact crossovers declining by 0.86% and volume-leading compact crossovers falling by 0.42%.

“As supply of new units continues to struggle to meet demand in the full-size SUV and truck segments, the values continue to be strong with used prices increasing again this past week,” Black Book said in the latest report.

Meanwhile, based on volume-weighted data, analysts determined overall car segment values decreased 0.26% last week, marking the second week in a row of drops. The streak started with a 0.22% decline.

Like their counterparts in the truck world, analysts noticed sub-compact cars dropped the most as values for those units slid 0.65%. Analysts added that luxury cars and prestige luxury cars weren’t far off that pace, declining by 0.49% and 0.43%, respectively. 

Black Book added that sporty cars are in a stretch of decreases of 0.72% and 0.49%, “as many parts of the country are moving into the time of year that traditionally sees the demand for these cars decline as summer is coming to a close.”

Analysts also discussed the recent holiday weekend in the newest report.

“The weeks leading up to Labor Day saw increased ‘no-sales’ and ‘ifs’ as dealers waited to see how the holiday weekend turned out,” Black Book said. “Overall, the weekend was successful for many dealers, but they are still showing post-holiday buying restraint.

“Sales rates this past week were consistent with the week before Labor Day as dealers were selective in what they replaced on their lot,” analysts continued while pointing out that much of remarketers’ best inventory has already been sold. 

“The decrease over the last several weeks in sales rates is not only attributed to caution by dealers on the amount of used inventory they are purchasing, but also due to the available selection of higher quality units for buyers to choose from being diminished,” Black Book added.

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