Last updated Thursday, December 8, 2005

It has been such a strange year, why should December be any different? What is normally a relatively static month following the typically bottom of the market months of October and November, December is shaping up to be a very strong month with dealers looking for inventory and very few good vehicles around, always a recipe for market strength. I actually had someone come into my office this morning and tell me that last Friday was the most active sale, in terms of numbers of dealers bidding, at Manheim he had ever seen, and he is there just about every week.

Gasoline prices have moderated (what a surprise) and the SUV and pick-up market have both rebounded nicely. There seems to be particular strength among the higher end imports.

Good cars continue to be scarce, and anything of quality and reasonable mileage is very saleable and bringing good money. That goes for imports and domestics. Low mileage domestics, in particular, are strong.

Things are so strong, in fact, that even our monthly caveat to beware of the medium mileage vehicle may be obsolete for the time being. There is evidence that the need to replace vehicles in the aftermath of the devastation of hurricane Katrina is fueling some of the unexpectedly strong market. We expect the feeding frenzy to continue for at least the next two weeks before the holiday hiatus cools things down. You are about to get the final books for 2005, and we expect little to change with the possible exception of some convertibles that may be a bit too strong even for the current market.

We are always mindful of our commitment and responsibility to provide the most accurate and current information to our subscribers and thankful for the confidence you show in our products. We wish you and your loved ones the very best of holidays!

Dan Galves