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Keeping Up! With Used Car Prices - Cox Automotive Report October 19, 2022


In this inflation-driven, inventory-addled market, forecasting is a tough and messy business. Ask any economist and you'll get a knowing nod. Of course, there are examples of easy forecasting work. Take electric vehicles. Our team has been forecasting continued EV growth for years now, and EV growth is exactly what we continue to see. 

Our colleagues at Kelley Blue Book finished their analysis of Q3 vehicle sales, and their two data reports have been posted in the Cox Automotive Newsroom. EV sales last quarter surpassed 200,000 for the first time ever in the U.S., a new record high for a quarter. In a flat market, year-over-year EV growth was nearly 70% as new, better product continues to deliver higher sales, despite affordability issues. You can read more in this press release from the Kelley Blue Book team

While EV sales are soaring, wholesale used-vehicle values are retreating. Our team released the Mid-Month MUVVI on Tuesday, and indeed the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index declined further in the first two weeks of October. Wholesale used-vehicle values are now lower than they were in 2021 and expected to finish the year lower still. Vice President of Manheim Market Insights Kevin Chartier will be posting his thoughts on the used-vehicle market later today. Check back to the Newsroom for the latest. 

Lastly, and in the spirit of forecasting, the most common question our team has been receiving lately is this: "When will retail vehicle prices retreat?" 

It's a fair question and, as we often note, if you want to forecast prices, take a careful look at supply and seek to understand when supply levels are indicating buying pressure or selling pressure. Our team shared our September inventory data last week. Those reports are here:

New-Vehicle Inventory Closes September Up, Asking Prices Down

Used-Vehicle Market Stabilizes in Supply and Demand 

Safe harbor here: One month is not a trend maker. Average new-vehicle transaction prices were lower month over month in September as well, but increasing auto loan rates made new-vehicle affordability worse. The narrative is still very much unfolding. In the auto market, it always is. 


Mark Schirmer
Director | Corporate Communications
Mobile: 734-883-6346
Twitter: @MarkSchirmer1