Last updated Tuesday, December 12, 2006

This is a time of year I don’t like to comment too much on market conditions. We are typically coming out of the worst market of the year, that mid-October to late November, early December period when there is little interest in buying anything unless it is what one would consider borderline stealing. Unless someone is chasing a particular vehicle for a specific customer, the level of interest is so low that the market is really false; that is, not truly reflective of a vehicles value and probably at a level significantly below what it might bring in the near future. It is a period when lowering “the book” becomes counterproductive because buyers are less concerned with what a vehicle is really worth than protecting themselves by buying well under “book”.

Auction data is also highly suspect at this time of year. The results are mostly representative of the few vehicles that had to be sold because of cash flow issues or inventory control edicts and are not really valid signposts.

All that will typically change sometime between now and mid-January if the weather cooperates. For the short term, during the holidays, there will be such a trickle of vehicles available that they can bring reasonable money. By mid-January we should start to get a real handle on where things are going and if this year is normal the market should be strengthening by then.

Dan Galves