Last updated Wednesday, May 18, 2005
The market continues to be largely influenced by the lack of product available. Except for a day here or there, we havenít seen an increase in the volume of vehicles for sale over the past month and donít see any reason for that to change in the short term. New vehicle sales continue to be slow and lease returns scarce. While we get feedback from time-to-time that there seems to be some softening of prices, those brief interludes seem to be followed closely by a strong rebound in the market and we are not yet ready to announce the end to what has been a very positive selling period for those fortunate enough to find vehicles to sell or trade.
Older vehicles and vehicles in the under $10,000 price range seem to be particularly strong. Domestics, at least on both coasts where they are so scarce, are also doing quite well.
We will say once again that the one area of the market that is not following that pattern is high end European manufacturers. We assume that is due to their relatively strong new vehicle sales and a relatively high number of lease returns. Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, and Audi have experienced steady declines over the past few months while there has been little decline and much actual increase in the rest of the market. Full size SUVs should be watched closely as that market also seems to be experiencing some erosion in the face of rising gasoline prices and increased availability as consumers bail out of them.
We think that with those exceptions the market will be pretty much unchanged for the following month.