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May sees a decline in wholesale used-vehicle prices amid seasonal trends

Over the past four weeks, the Three-Year-Old Index dropped by an aggregate of 2.0%.

In May, wholesale used-vehicle prices experienced a notable decrease, according to the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index (MUVVI), which fell to 197.3, marking a 12.1% drop from last year. The seasonally adjusted index saw a month-over-month decline of 0.6%, while the non-adjusted price fell by 1.2% from April, representing an 11.4% decrease year-over-year.

Jeremy Robb, senior director of Economic and Industry Insights at Cox Automotive, noted that declines in used-vehicle values were more pronounced in the latter half of May. This trend, combined with the typical market softening over Memorial Day weekend, resulted in more significant decreases in the final week of the month.

The Manheim Market Report (MMR) values showed weekly decreases slightly above long-term averages. Over the past four weeks, the Three-Year-Old Index dropped by an aggregate of 2.0%, including a 0.7% decline during the week of Memorial Day, indicating higher-than-average depreciation this year.

Despite this, daily MMR Retention averaged 98.8% in May, meaning market prices remained below MMR values, while the average daily sales conversion rate dropped to 56.4%, reflecting a seasonal decline in demand, which is normal for this time of year. Market segments saw year-over-year price decreases in May, with pickups and luxury vehicles performing relatively better compared to other segments.

Moreover, EVs experienced a 16.0% year-over-year decrease in seasonally adjusted values, while non-EVs saw an 11.6% decline. Additionally, retail used-vehicle sales in May increased by an estimated 6% compared to April and 12% year-over-year.

New vehicle sales in May also saw an increase, rising by 4.8% from the previous year, with the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) reaching 15.9 million. Combined sales to large rental, commercial, and government fleets increased by 5.7% year-over-year, indicating positive growth in the automotive market.

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