Economic Update:

The UAW’s unprecedented simultaneous strike against the Detroit Three automakers marked its 33rd day with about 34,000 workers on strike at General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Stellantis. An analysis from East Lansing consulting Anderson Economic Group estimates the first four weeks have resulted in total economic losses of $7.7 billion, including $3.45 billion at the Detroit Three. Retail sales rose 0.7% in September, stronger than expected, extending the 0.8% gain in August

Consumer spending growth was led by strength among motor vehicles and parts dealers (up 1.0%), food services and drinking places (up 0.9%), gasoline stations (up 0.9%), and health and personal care stores up 0.8

 

Retail Sales: Cox Automotive Data

Auto estimates suggest that used retail vehicles sales volume in September was down 10% compared to August. Volumes were down 2% from a year ago, the worst year-over-year performance since June.

 

Day Supply: Source: Cox Automotive Data

New Inventory is up 60% from the same time a year ago but remains 35% lower than pre-pandemic 2019.

 

Retail Pricing

Used car prices saw an unexpected 2.6% decline.

New vehicle prices saw an accelerating increase, which we did not see in actual transactions. According to Kelley Blue Book, new-vehicle transaction prices were down, and the actual payment declined by 0.8%, most likely due to discounts and rising incentives.

 

Wholesale Price Trends:

Compared to last month, pickups, midsize cars, compact cars, and SUVs gained more than the industry at 2.1%, 1.4%, 1.3%, and 1.1%, respectively. Luxury lost 0.6% and vans were down 0.9% from August. Knowing what your market is demanding in segment but in price band as well will direct your per vin investment strategy.

 

Wholesale Market Trends: Source: Cox Automotive Data

Wholesale used-vehicle prices decreased 1.6% from September in the first 15 days of October. That was also unexpected due to the strike.

The auction channel is showing a slightly stronger-than-normal buying demand for this time of year of 54.0% conversion but that can most likely be attributed to decreasing direct from consumer purchases. KBB reported a change in consumer conversion timelines last month that is impacting dealer conversion.

 

Summary: 

There’s an opportunity to grow market share and avoid heavy aging inventory losses by defining a solid acquisition plan using your market data that comes from digging deep into your inventory management systems. I work with 10+ dealers a week around this topic and it surprises me still how few dealers go two and three levels deeper into the market data to find the gold. Reach out if you want to discuss any of this or your strategy in detail.