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Used vehicle sales, pricing continue to normalize in first half of Q4

Used vehicle sales and prices have fluctuated in the final months of 2023 as the market continues to adjust to the post-pandemic economy

Used vehicle sales and pricing have weakened in the final quarter as the market continues to normalize in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

According to Cox Automotive, wholesale used vehicle prices have declined in the first half of November, although supply has remained relatively low, falling 1.6% month-over-month and 5.3% year-over-year. In late 2022, the preowned segment was still benefitting from inventory shortages in the new car market, which would ultimately keep values inflated until a surge in OEM production this spring. Since then, wholesale prices have mostly trended downward with the occasional spontaneous jump.

By segment, compact and midsize cars saw the most significant declines in value from last year, falling 10.7% and 8%, respectively. Pickups and SUVs retained their values the most, depreciating only 4.2% and 4.8%. On a month-over-month basis, luxury vehicles were the only segment to see stronger pricing, with values rising 0.3% in the first half of November.

Sales of certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles also weakened in October. The segment demonstrated surprising strength in the first half of the year and, year-to-date is still roughly 8% ahead of its pace in the latter half of 2022. However, after reversing course in August, demand has now been on the decline for three consecutive months, with CPO sales falling 10.1% in October from September. This heavily outpaced the 0.4% decline in total used vehicle sales seen during the same period.

While conditions have fluctuated heavily in 2023, the used vehicle segment is still far more profitable than before the pandemic. However, the shifts in demand and pricing seen over October and November indicate that the market is now relapsing to pre-2020 conditions. To keep sales and revenue high in the coming months, dealers will need to ensure their storefronts and teams have access to the right tools, technologies, and strategies to pursue leads and achieve success.

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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