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Used vehicle inventory: prices stabilize as sales rise

By the end of June, there were 2.22 million unsold used cars and trucks on dealers' lots nationwide.

According to a Cox Automotive analysis of vAuto Available Inventory data, the used-vehicle market has lost some volatility during the pandemic and chip shortage, with inventory and prices remaining relatively stable.

By the end of June, there were 2.22 million unsold used cars and trucks on licensed and independent dealer lots around the U.S. Compared to last year, sales were down 10%, or 241,000 units, but were up from the revised 2.12 million at the end of May.

There were 47 total days’ supply at the end of June compared to 46 at the beginning of the month. The number of days was 11% lower than a year before. Days’ supply has remained stable at this amount since the spring.

The Cox Automotive days’ supply is determined by the daily sales rate for the most recent 30-day period that ended on June 26. Sales during that period totaled 1.43 million units, an increase of 1% from last year.

Chris Frey, senior manager of Economic and Industry Insights at Cox Automotive, said, “The last few months have followed very closely to 2019’s levels, the last normal year we’ve seen.” He adds it’s important to note, “The days’ supply, which we haven’t seen in three years, is usual for this time of year. Even while the total supply improves, dealers adjust their inventory to the sales rate and maintain a constant days’ supply.”

June saw a decrease in the average used vehicle listing price from the start of the month. The average listing price dropped from the revised $27,720 at the end of May, the highest since early January, to $27,147 at the end of the month. The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index indicates that wholesale prices also decreased.

However, the inventory is more scarce in the lower price ranges, as it has been for months with new cars. For vehicles priced under $10,000, the days’ supply was 31, and it rose with each subsequent price tier, peaking at 52 for cars priced over $35,000.

Dodge and Honda had the lowest inventories of used non-luxury cars, with 38- and 39-day supply, respectively. They were the only brands having a supply shorter than 40 days. The days’ supply for most other popular brands, both luxury, and non-luxury, was under 51.

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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