[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s 2016 crosses the finish line, Average Wholesale Pricing (AWP) remains in sync with prior years’ norms. Slight upticks occurred in Domestic Cruisers and Side-by-Sides, and slight declines occurred in Metric and Off-Road products. Dealers’ wholesale appetite for product varied across the U.S. in December, but overall these trends are typical for the end of the year as dealers clear out what they don’t want while anticipating their needs for the spring selling season.
Compared to the prior 3-month average, Domestic Cruisers were up 6.2% and Sport bikes were up 0.5%. Metric Cruisers declined 3.9%, ATVs were off 6.2% and Side-by-Sides were down 1.3%. MX bikes were down 16.8%, but this is largely due to a lower-price product mix than usual for the month. When compared to December 2015, Sport bikes performed better by 4%, while the other major categories were down year over year 3-6% on average. PWC and Snowmobile prices were up significantly over both the prior 3 months and the prior year averages, but this due to the highly variable product mix each month for those categories.
Wholesale product mix shifted towards more Domestic Cruisers and less Metric Cruisers and Sport bikes in the 4th quarter, reversing the product mix trends seen in Q3. Side-by-Side volume continues to grow, particularly in the South and Northeast regions. As the volume of repossessed vehicles grows from the new retail lending programs now on the market, the product mix is shifting accordingly. Another impact of the uptick in repossessed vehicles is model age – after steady increases in overall model age for the last 4 years, the average model age of units sold at auction in 2016 will end up slightly lower than 2015.
Thankfully, the view into the future is much clearer now than it was a few months ago. The election chaos is over, economic indicators are strong, exciting new products are hitting the market and retail financing is more plentiful. While no one has a crystal ball, the conditions are ripe for a strong 2017 in both new and used vehicles as consumers regain their footing; and if the uptick in views for auction inventory in December is any indication, dealers are optimistic that opportunity is on the horizon.
All data provided by National Powersport Auctions. For more information, please visit www.npauctions.com