Wholesale used-vehicle prices on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally-adjusted basis increased 5.87% month over month in March. This brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 179.2, a 26.2% increase from a year ago and a record high for the Index. Wholesale prices – the prices automobile dealers are paying to acquire inventory – are often an indicator of retail prices, which have also been elevated on a year-over-year basis through the first quarter.
Manheim Market Report (MMR) prices also increased through the month of March. MMR is a valuation tool used by tens of thousands of consignors and dealers to assess millions of trade-ins each month. MMR is designed to be highly stable and avoid overreacting to short-term market ups and downs and provides an accurate measure of vehicle valuations regardless of market conditions.
The Three-Year-Old MMR Index, which represents the largest model year cohort at auction, increased 1.7% in each of the past three weeks. Over the four full weeks of March, the Three-Year-Old Index increased 6.4%. In March, MMR Retention, which is the average difference in price relative to the current MMR price, averaged 102.9%. The sales conversion rate also increased for most of the month.
On a year-over-year basis, all major vehicle segments saw seasonally adjusted price increases in March. Pickup trucks outperformed the overall market, while most other major segments underperformed.