Last updated Thursday, November 9, 2006

It's November and the market is reacting in typical November fashion. That is to say, the market is generally depressed and selling all but the more highly desirable vehicles is difficult. Iíve always felt that the weakest market of the year generally occurs around this time of year, mid-October through November, and this year looks to be quite normal in that regard.

Of course convertibles lead the way as they usually do this time of year. Audi A4, BMW 3-series and Z-series, and Porsche Boxsters have been especially hard hit in the mid-price category and Mercedes SLs and BMW 6-series have softened dramatically among the luxury class group. Sport coupes have softened as well, but not as severely.

European luxury vehicles have continued to experience some erosion, but the pace seems to have slackened of late. The fact is, they have dropped about double their ordinary pace for the past 8 or 9 months and have become worth the money if someone is looking for one. The problem is, there are not enough buyers looking for them. It looks as if they will continue to drop, but in smaller increments. The same seems to apply to the Asian luxury segment as well. They will probably drop, but at a relatively modest pace as the market has many fewer of them to absorb.

The more ordinary imports, the Hondas, Toyotas, Hyundais, Nissans, and their ilk, have been experiencing normal softening for this time of year and probably will continue to do so until the final book of the year. Domestics with good miles are rare for this part of the country and are holding steady and then some, but as miles get up a bit they rapidly lose their strength.

Pick-ups and SUVs are holding their own in what is normally a good time of year for them. They have suffered enough throughout the year and gas prices have moderated making them something of a bargain overall.

Vans, for whatever reason, have taken a turn for the worse in recent weeks and have become difficult to sell unless they are particularly unusual and desirable.

Keep in mind that we are rapidly approaching that time of year when it doesnít matter how low the book is, buyers want to buy under book anyway. We always keep that in mind and make a conscious effort not to pay too much attention to the prices being thrown around during that period.

Dan Galves