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NADA: Supply, Incentives Driving Down Retention Rates

MCLEAN, Va. — Through September, retention rates for most model-year 2013 vehicles are down across the board compared to last year, according to NADA Used Car Guide. Larry Dixon, the firm’s director of market intelligence, said increased supply and incentives are the reasons.

“We estimate that the supply of used vehicles up to five years old will jump by 12% this year. This is the biggest increase in more than a decade,” Dixon said. “As for incentives, with new-vehicle sales growth leveling off, manufacturers are dialing up incentives to preserve market share. Per J.D. Power, incentives were up 9% through August to an average of $3,436 per unit.”

Only mid-size vans, luxury large utility, sports cars and mid-size pickups retained their average value better this year compared to 2015, according to the report. And, out of those four segments, mid-size pickups held their value the most — holding an average of 67.2% of their value after three years.

Segment Retention Rates

  1. Mid-size Pickup: 67.2%
  2. Half-ton Pickup: 56.5%
  3. Mid-Size Utility: 53.7%
  4. Large Utility: 53.1%
  5. Lux Large Utility: 52%
  6. Sports Car: 51.2%
  7. Compact Utility: 50.7%
  8. Mid-Size Vans: 50.4%
  9. Lux. Sports: 50.2%
  10. Lux. Compact Util.: 50.1%
  11. Lux. Mid-Size Util.: 48.2%
  12. Compact Car: 46.5%
  13. Lux. Subcompact: 45.1%
  14. Lux. Compact: 43.7%
  15. Mid-Size Car: 43.6%
  16. Lux. Large Car: 42.4%
  17. Large Car: 42.2%
  18. Lux. Mid-size Car: 41.2%
  19. Subcompact Car: 37.5%

“Their versatility can’t be matched, and the road manners and fuel efficiency of today’s utility and pickup truck are significantly better than in the past. Availability — or the relative lack thereof — is also helping,” Dixon said in a statement issued to F&I and Showroom.

He added that although the supply of large pickups at auction is up about 28% compared to the year prior, it is still well below the pre-recession highs. Additionally, the relatively low price of gas, and the forecast of cheap gas to come is adding to the appeal of pickups.

However, while low gas prices are acting as a boon for pickups and utilities, it’s acting as a bane for subcompacts. The NADA Used Car Guide found that the subcompact segment retained its value the least out of all segments — 37.5% of its value after three years — and also realized the worst retention rate decline out of all segments — vehicles in the category dropping 7.2% in value compared to the year before.

Dixon said that the main reason for the decline in subcompact car retention is similar to the reason the industry as a whole is seeing declines in value retention: increased supply.

“It’s estimated that subcompact volume of vehicles up to five years old will grow by 20% [or more] this year, more than the vast majority of other segments,” Dixon said. “We’ve seen auction volume for the segment grow at a similar rate so far this year, 22%.”

Retention Rate Change From Year to Year

  1. Subcompact Car: -7.2%
  2. Large Car: -4%
  3. Compact Util.: -3.4%
  4. Lux. Subcompact: -3.2%
  5. Compact Car: -2.6%
  6. Lux. Compact: -2.5%
  7. Lux. Mid-size Util.: -2.2%
  8. Lux. Mid-size Car: -1.9%
  9. Lux. Sports: -1.9%
  10. Mid-Size Car: -1.6%
  11. Large Util.: -1.4%
  12. Half-Ton Pickup: -1.2%
  13. Lux. Compact Util.: -0.9%
  14. Lux. Large Car: -0.4%
  15. Mid-Size Util.: -0.3%
  16. Mid-Size Vans: +0.3%
  17. Lux. Large Util.: +1.5%
  18. Sports Car: +1.6%
  19. Mid-Size Pickup: +4.7%

While the average retention rates for the other car segments — compact, mid-size, large, luxury subcompact, luxury compact, luxury mid-size, and luxury large — were all below the larger utilities and pickups, their rates were noticeably better than subcompacts. At the low end were three-year-old luxury mid-size cars with a retention rate of 41.2%. At the high end were compact cars with a retention rate of 46.5% after three years.

Dixon also noted that while the subcompact segment is struggling, the luxury subcompact is holding its value much better than its non-luxury counterpart. In fact, the luxury subcompact segment is holding its value better than every other luxury car segment — the one exception being luxury sports.

The reason being is that luxury subcompacts are a less mature segment with less competition, Dixon noted. The segment, he added, also facilitates entry into the luxury sector because of the segment’s relative affordability vs. larger luxury vehicles.

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NADA Hires Digital Media Director

TYSONS, Va. — The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has hired Abram Olmstead as its digital media director. Olmstead will oversee the NADA’s communications efforts across all digital platforms, as well as lead the development of the association’s strategy for using online platforms to communicate with and market to both internal and external audiences.

“In order to be successful advocates for our dealer members, NADA has to be able to engage and influence the conversation wherever it is occurring,” said NADA President Peter Welch. “Having an experienced communicator like Abram lead our strategy for engaging across the entire digital and social media landscape will do wonders for NADA’s ability to remind consumers, regulators, and other critical influencers of the numerous benefits that franchised new-car dealers provide their customers.”

Before joining the NADA, Olmstead served as the senior manager of digital strategic communications at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. There he lead the chamber’s social media and digital marketing efforts managed the day-to-day messaging, crafted and implemented long-term strategies and expanded the reach and sophistication of the chamber’s digital media presence.

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E-Credit Express Lender Management Platform Enhanced with NADA Used Car Guide’s Trusted Vehicle Values

MCLEAN, Va., – E-Credit Express (ECE) — a fully patented, automated, online lender management platform (LMP) that connects dealers to over 1,300 lenders instantly — has recently entered into an agreement with NADA Used Car Guide — the leading provider of used vehicle values — to speed up the used vehicle sale and loan approval process.

The integration of NADA Used Car Guide’s values into the ECE platform streamlines the dealer sales process and makes all vehicle value information available to lenders with the platform’s credit application feature.

Mike Stanton, vice president and general manager of NADA Used Car Guide said, “We are proud the industry’s most trusted vehicle values will be used in the E-Credit Express platform. Auto dealers will no longer have to go outside of the platform to include vital pricing information for lender approval. This ultimately makes for a faster sales process benefitting the customer.”

According to Paul Pawlusiak, president of E-Credit Express, “Our lender management platform connects customers to banks and lenders instantly. With the values integrated by NADA Used Car Guide, lenders will be able to make quick, easy, 24/7 loan decisions in five minutes or less.”

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July’s 2.3% Drop in Wholesale Prices Ties June Record, NADAUCG Reports

MCLEAN, Va. — Wholesale prices for vehicles up to eight years in age fell 2.3% in July, tying June for the biggest drop recorded so far in 2016, according to the NADA Used Car Guide. As a result, the firm lowered its seasonally adjusted used vehicle price index 1.1% to 118.9 .

The largest decline in wholesale price was recorded in the subcompact car segment, which saw prices drop 3.9% compared to June’s figures. Mid-size and compact cars followed a similar trend, with each segment recording an average price decline of 2.9% compared to the prior month. Prices for large cars fell 2.5%, higher than the industry average but better than the 2.8% decline the segment experienced last year.

The large pickup and large utility segments continued to show strength, with prices for each segment falling 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively, compared to the prior month. While other large vehicle segments experienced slightly higher depreciation, the majority of the declines were still under the industry average.

Mid-size pickup prices fell 1.4%, compact utility prices dropped 1.7%, mid-size utility prices dipped by 1.8%, and vans dropped 2.7%.

According to the NADA, the luxury segment was a mixed bag in July. Small luxury vehicles experienced greater losses, while mid-size and large luxury vehicles fared slightly better. The biggest decline in the segment came from luxury compact utility prices, which fell 3.1% from the prior month. Compact car prices fell 2.7%, while luxury mid-size cars and luxury large car prices fell by 2.1% and 1.8%, respectively.

Year to date, used-vehicle prices were 12.5% lower than they were at the end of 2015. Last year, depreciation reached a lesser 9.6% over the same period, according to the NADA.

Compared to all of 2015, subcompact prices have fallen 19.9% year to date. Compact car prices have fallen 16.2%, and mid-size and large car prices have fallen 14% to 14.4%. Year to date, large pickup prices are down 6.8%, while large utility prices are down 5.7%. Mid-size pickups are down 6.3% compared to full-year 2015.

The only segment to experience an improvement in depreciation relative to last year was the large utility segment, which saw prices fall 5.7% through July. For the same period last year, wholesale prices fell 7.1%, the NADA Used Car Guide noted.

Sales volume at auction was also on the decline during July. However, the firm noted, the decline is typical for the time of year. July’s decline marked the fourth monthyl decline in a row. On a year-to-date basis, however, volume is up 6%.

Looking forward, depreciation is expected to accelerate as the market enters what is typically the softest part of the year, according to the NADA. In next month’s report, the NADA Used Car Guide expects used-vehicle prices to fall even more than they did in July. August’s used-vehicle prices are expected to fall by 2.5% to 3% compared to July’s figures. Subcompact car prices are expected to drop by about 3% on a monthly basis, while compact, mid-size and large car prices are expected to fall 2.7%.

Compact utility and mid-size utility prices are expected to decline 2.3%, while mid-size van prices are expected to fall 2.7%. Large pickup and utility pricing are expected to suffer the softest decline at 1.8%, while luxury segment losses are expected to average about 2.5%, according to the firm. In September and October, prices are expected to fall around 3.2% to 3.7% per month.

NADA Used Car Guide’s full-year forecast for 2016 has prices down by an average of less than 5% on an index-basis from 2015.

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NADA Maintains 17.7 Million Sales Forecast for 2016

MCLEAN, Va. — The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is sticking to its initial forecast of 17.7 million news cars and light trucks for 2016, despite current economic and political uncertainties.

“We’ve had six straight years of steadily rising sales, which has been a fantastic period of growth, and vehicles per household have returned to the same level prior to the Great Recession,” said NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., on Tuesday. “But most pent up demand has been satisfied. For 2017, we expect new-vehicle sales to reach 17.1 million units.”

Szakaly listed the rising employment rate, leases, and cheap gas and diesel prices as reasons why sales will remain strong throughout 2016.

“For 2016, light trucks will account for about 59% of the new-vehicle sales market and cars will account for 41%,” he said. “Leases are increasing, which now accounts for more than 34% of the market.”

He added that although interest rates on auto loans are expected to increase by about 0.50%, consumers shouldn’t notice the change due to automakers rolling out incentives to counteract the higher rate.

While slightly higher interest rates won’t do much to curtail new-vehicle sales, Szakaly did have some ideas of what could. “The aging vehicle fleet discourages long-term vehicle sales; average loans terms for new vehicles have risen to 68 months; and new-vehicle transaction prices are continuing to rise, up about 3% this year, while wages remain stagnant.”

Millennials, he concluded, will be the greatest growth factor for new-vehicle sales in the foreseeable future. “Until millennials come of age with higher wages, get married and have children, the auto industry will experience stagnant growth periods.”

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NADA Chairman Calls on Dealers to Rally Behind CFPB-Reform Bill

An important number that the nation’s auto dealers should know is 2663. The NADA’s battle to tame the CFPB continues and Senate bill S. 2663 is the next chapter. This bill, entitled, “Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act,” is identical to last year’s House bill-H.R. 1737, which passed the House with a resounding, veto-proof majority vote of 332-96, including 88 Democrats.

NADA commends Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) for introducing this critical legislation this past March. Democrats and Republicans from both sides of the aisle have recognized a simple truth: Every consumer deserves access to competitive financing and great rates when they buy a new car or truck.

America’s franchised auto dealers strongly support S. 2663, and businesses that make, sell, service, auction and finance motor vehicles have also joined in this support. Practically the entire auto industry is united on this issue. Like H.R. 1737, the bill would rescind the CFPB’s flawed auto finance guidance, and make the bureau more transparent and accountable when issuing future guidance. The bill calls for a public comment period, coordination with regulatory agencies that possess authority over dealers and a study of the impact of the guidance on small businesses and, most importantly, consumers.

S. 2663 is a moderate bill that does not dictate a result. It’s important that dealers urge their Democratic senators to support S. 2663 when it comes up for a vote. Due to the shortened congressional session with the Presidential election looming, we need to be ready for a vote at any time.

The bill allows for transparency and public notice so the public has an opportunity to analyze and to comment on the CFPB’s attempt to change the auto financing market via “guidance.” And it protects fair credit laws and their enforcement in order to safeguard equal opportunity in auto financing.

We’re fighting for what dealers have known from the beginning: our current system of convenient dealer-assisted financing is fair and competitive. It boosts access to affordable credit for consumers and saves them money.

At the same time, NADA supports the Senate in its oversight to ensure that the CFPB’s actions do not hurt consumers, especially those with less-than-perfect credit. If the CFPB intends to disrupt our highly efficient model, it can only be justified through reliable and sound analysis. Yet the CFPB continues to try to eliminate a dealer’s ability to discount credit for consumers, despite a clear prohibition in Dodd-Frank against regulating dealers.

The optional NADA/NAMAD/AIADA Fair Credit Compliance Policy & Program is being adopted by a growing number of franchised dealers. Many are taking the proactive steps to ensure that the deserved participation that we earn when arranging financing falls within the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Each of the three major credit application aggregators-including several other companies-have licensed the use of the program to facilitate its adoption and implementation by dealers.

The significant flaws in the CFPB’s policy do not serve the nation’s 16,500 franchised dealers-or the consumers they proudly serve.

NADA will continue to support our members through these challenges as we prove that dealers provide the most competitive, efficient consumer benefits on the planet in our current auto finance model.

Visit NADA.org/autofinance to learn more about how the CFPB’s campaign to eliminate discounted financing rates is raising credit costs for consumers.

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