The Automotive Advisor Team

Automotive Market Update 5-22-2024: Stock Market Highs and Automotive

 

 

Economic Automotive Outlook: Source  

Overall Trends

  • Inflation growth slowed down in April, with core CPI hitting its lowest reading since April 2021.
  • April’s retail sales were flat, with the automotive underperforming the overall market.
  • Residential construction was mixed in April, with multifamily starts surging and single-family starts slightly declining.

Inflation Trends

  • Headline Inflation: increased by 0.3%, slightly below the expected 0.4%.
  • Core CPI: which excludes Food and Energy, also rose by 0.3%, month over month,
  • Housing inflation decelerated to 0.2%, while apparel saw a notable increase of 1.2%.

Retail Sales Performance

  • Consumer Spending: in April remained unchanged, contrary to the anticipated 0.4% growth.
  • Category Performance: Gas stations and clothing stores experienced the largest gains, while e-commerce and sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores saw significant declines.
  • The auto sector underperformed the rest of the retail market, which was up 0.2%.
  • Transportation services saw another strong increase of 0.9%,
  • Year-over-Year Change: Nominal retail sales increased by 3.0%, down from an upwardly revised 3.8% increase in March.

Cox Automotive’s Manheim Wholesales Market Source

Three-year-old wholesale depreciation was 0.4% this week but lane efficiency was flat or increasing, and higher than the same time in 2022 and 2023. Used and new retail sales continue to trend close to 2019 levels and days’ supply moved down a little for both as we progress through the month.

  • The 3-year-old index depreciated 0.4% to 99.2%. Non-luxury depreciated 0.5% and luxury depreciated 0.3%.
    • Wholesale values dropped for most model years.
    • Sale prices below MMR (-1.24%).
  • Lane efficiency flat or increasing some. Three-year-old and 6-year-old lane efficiency both running higher than the previous two years.

Black Book: Source

The overall market experienced an acceleration in the rate of decline last week, with all but two segments reporting a decrease in value. Although there was some reduction in auction inventory, the volumes sold by the larger sellers, especially in the OEM lanes, are reminiscent of those seen pre-COVID.

  • The Used Retail Days-to-Turn estimate is now sitting around 40 days.
  • Average auction sales rate this week was 56%, down –1% from the previous week.

 

On a volume-weighted basis, the overall Car segment decreased -0.09%. For reference, in the previous week, cars decreased -0.01%.

  • The 0-to-2-year-old Car segments were down -0.11% and 8-to-16-year-old Cars increased +0.03%.
  • Two of the nine Car segments increased last week.
  • Last week, the Sporty Car segment extended its upward trend, rising by +0.20%, which represents the eighth consecutive week of gains. On average, the segment has seen a weekly increase of +0.32%.
  • The Sub-Compact Car segment continued to see significant decreases, falling by -0.41% last week. This marks the sixth week in a row of declines for the segment, with an average weekly drop of -0.37%. Although these vehicles are considered “affordable,” the segment witnessed only four weeks of increases in April. In contrast, its larger counterpart, the Compact Car, experienced a streak of seventeen consecutive weeks of growth before seeing a slowdown.

 

The volume-weighted, overall Truck segment decreased -0.29% compared to the decline seen the prior week of -0.14%.

  • The 0-to-2-year-old models declined -0.24% on average and the 8-to-16-year-olds decreased by -0.34% on average.
  • Last week saw a decline across all thirteen Truck segments, marking the first instance of universal declines within these segments since mid-January.
  • Full-Size Vans have consistently depreciated over the past seven weeks, with an average weekly decline of -1.00%. Although the Compact Van segment has also been depreciating, it has been doing so at a slower pace. Nevertheless, last week saw an increase in the rate of decline for Compact Vans, falling by -0.62%, a notable increase from the previous week’s decrease of -0.13%.
  • Last week, the Full-Size Crossover/SUV segment saw a -0.29% decrease, marking an end to its ten-week streak of consecutive increases.

 

Retail Trending: Source

Retail prices declined 0.2% for non-luxury and 0.6% for luxury. Luxury spreads stabilizing and six-week lagged non-luxury spreads now increasing due to recent wholesale values declining at a higher rate than retail values.

  • The used retail sales rate is trending similar to most previous years; days’ supply is at 42 days.
  • New car sales trending close to 2019 levels and days’ supply at 74 days.

 

Summary: Source

Still, with an average U.S. new-vehicle selling price of just over $45,000 last month, many can’t afford to buy new – even though prices are down more than $2,000 from the peak in December of 2022, according to J.D. Power.

Used cars below $15,000 continue to show constrained availability with only 36 days’ supply, 22% less than all other price ranges. Affordability remains challenging for consumers, and supply is more constrained at lower price points. The top five sellers of the month sold at an average price of $23,316, more than 9% below the average listing price for all vehicles sold

Takeaways:

  • Wholesale Values: Rising in Early May
  • Days’ supply: Trending Lower at Manheim
  • Affordability: The Name of the Game for Consumers
  • EV Prices: Impacts for Both Retail and Wholesale