CBB Releases Used Vehicle Retention Index

Canadian Black Book (CBB) releases its monthly Used Vehicle Retention Index for Canada, covering February 2019.

The index offers unbiased and accurate insights and statistics regarding the health of the used wholesale vehicle market across Canada. It tracks 20 different categories of vehicles and is a composite of value data from some 9,000 different make model trims. There are variations sometimes which behave differently over time, but these variations are expected. Now, for the first time since June 2018, the February 2019 index has shown a decline, resting at 104.7 a drop of 0.5 from the previous month’s record high.

Someone once said, ‘One month does not a trend make,” which is a shameless derivative of a famous quote from Aristotle, ‘One swallow does not a summer make,’” mentions Brian Murphy, VP Research & Editorial at Canadian Black Book.  “This month’s results have very little to do with birds and everything to do with price trends for 2 to 6-year-old used cars, SUVs, and trucks.”

Compared to the same time last year, Compact and Sub-Compact cars have shown the largest gains of 4.9 points and 6.8 points respectively. Full-size vans, used mostly for commercial purposes, are up by 1.2 points.

But there is a noticeable decline in other segments:

  • Luxury cars (-7.8 points)
  • Premium sport cars (-4.2 points)
  • Prestige luxury cars (-7.2 points)
  • Full-size car (-1.7 points)
  • Mid-size crossover (-1.1 points)
  • Small Pickups (-2.2 points)

This decline of higher-end vehicle prices may be the result of the shift to all-things SUV. Buyers may be able to find better deals at auction for these specific segments.

Despite the decline, the retained values are still near record level, with the index now 2.1 points ahead of where it was 12 months ago. Future indexes over the next few months will determine whether or not this is the start of a larger serious downward trend. “Spring is coming, so there are bound to be a few Robins on the horizon and some Swallows too,” says Murphy.

To view the index monthly, click here.

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