Wholesale used-car prices fall in April, more declines are expected

And Black Book’s Used Vehicle Retention Index — another indicator of wholesale prices, weighted based on registration volume and adjusted for seasonality, vehicle age, mileage and condition — fell 0.1 percent in April from March.

There is a caveat, Yurchenko said: Certain vehicle segments in high demand continued to appreciate, while some subsegments declined faster. In a release discussing Black Book’s April index, Yurchenko said wholesale prices in the most compact to full-size mainstream vehicle segments underperformed. However, the prices of smaller and cheaper subcompact vehicles, such as sedans and crossovers, overperformed in April, he said.

In a typical year, dealers stock inventory in preparation for a boost in consumers’ buying activity through March, April and May, which occurs as consumers receive income tax refunds and use them to purchase vehicles.

This year, dealers “started to prepare much earlier,” Black Book’s Yurchenko said, as there was an expectation that used-vehicle demand would be higher in the spring than it was in autumn.

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