Last updated Wednesday, February 9, 2005
As expected, January showed a continued improvement in the short burst of activity we saw in December as the market rebounded from the typically weak months of October and November. The snow and cold of mid-January put a temporary lid on things, but it looks as if the beginning of February is shaping up to bring more palatable weather and a significantly improved market as well. Conversations with auction consultants indicate a high level of activity and strength and talks with independent wholesalers are very much in agreement with that assessment. The problem isn’t selling vehicles as much as it is finding them.
We expect that February will be a very strong market for good, lower mileage vehicles in particular. Retail sales are only so-so, and are probably not strong enough to create one of those markets where there is strong demand for just about anything available, mileage and condition not withstanding. The absence of a strong need to re-stock inventory will probably mean that the ordinary vehicle, though certainly bolstered by the strength of its lower mileage, better equipped, nicer looking counterparts, will see an improved market but not an exceptional one.
We certainly expect to see a continuing increase in the strength of the sport coupe and convertible market. There were a few very nice Saab and BMW convertibles hanging around the warehouse for weeks that have been sold recently as the market has caught up with the real value of those vehicles. SUVs may lag behind the upswing in the market as we move out of the winter months and they continue to be rather plentiful. Pick-ups are still relatively scarce and are holding value.
Older vehicles will benefit from some of the general strength of the market, but we need to remind subscribers that our prices for older vehicles represent a very good vehicle that needs minimal reconditioning and maintenance and has some significant life left in it.