Manheim Index Sets New Record — Again

The Manheim Used Vehicle Index indicating an increase month-over-month in September.

Photo: Manheim

Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 5.3% month-over-month in September, according to Cox Automotive. 

This brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 204.8, a 27.1% increase from a year ago and another record high in a year of records. 

The Manheim Market Report (MMR) values saw accelerating weekly increases throughout September.

The Three-Year-Old Index increased a net 4.6% over the full four weeks in the month.

MMR Retention, which is the average difference in price relative to current MMR, averaged 100.8. This means that market prices were ahead of MMR values.

On a year-over-year basis, all major market segments saw seasonally adjusted price increases in September. Vans and sport utility vehicles had the largest year-over-year performance, while the remaining car and pickup segments lagged the overall market. No segment saw declines on a month-over-month basis.

Combined sales into large rental, commercial, and government buyers were down 21% year over year in September. Sales into rental decreased 17% year over year in September.

Commercial sales are down 18% year over year in September and are up 13% year-to-date 2021 versus 2020. Including an estimate for fleet deliveries into the dealer and manufacturer channel, the report estimates that the remaining retail sales were down 23% year over year in September, leading to an estimated retail SAAR of 10.7 million, which was down from 14 million last September and down from September 2019’s 13.8 million rate.

Rental risk mileage decreasing

The average price for rental risk units sold at auction in September was up 37% year-over-year. Rental risk prices were up 12% compared to August. Average mileage for rental risk units in August (at 56,600 miles) was up 33% compared to a year ago but down 19% month-over-month.

Vehicle sales continue to fall

 According to Cox Automotive estimates, total used vehicle sales were down 13% year-over-year in September. The report estimatse the September used SAAR to be 36 million, down from 40.9 million last September and down compared to August’s 36.5 million SAAR. The September used retail SAAR estimate is 19.5 million, down from 21.7 million last year and flat month-over-month.

Using a rolling seven-day estimate of used retail days’ supply based on vAuto data, the MMR sees that used retail supply peaked at 114 days on April 8, 2020. Normal used retail supply is about 44 days’ supply. It ended September at 37 days, which is below normal levels. The report estimate that wholesale supply peaked at 149 days on April 9, 2020, when normal supply is 23. It ended September at 18 days.

September total new-vehicle sales were down 25% year over year, with the same number of selling days compared to September 2020. Month over month, September new-vehicle sales were down 7%. The September SAAR came in at 12.2 million, a decrease from last year’s 16.3 million and September 2019’s 17.2 million rate.

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