Although the first half of 2014 was relatively strong, Average Wholesale Pricing (AWP) declined further in December for most product categories. Domestic cruiser AWP rose in December, which was overdue, but unexpected given the lack of Harley franchise dealer interest in prior months.
Metric cruisers (especially large displacement) were impacted the most, with some improvement showing in ATV categories. Participation has been strong and dealers projected greater confidence in the lanes in December than in prior months, so spring pricing may show up earlier this year than past years.
The ratio of domestic cruisers rose in Q4, partly due to year-end sales efforts by Harley-Davidson Financial Services. The percentage of metric street bikes declined and ATVs rose. Wholesale volumes sold in December were below 2013 levels. Units offered declined and conversion rates were below 2013 as well. December tends to be the most volatile month year-over-year, so this is not likely a trend that will continue, especially as spring approaches.
Vehicles sold in Q4 were about the same age and in less condition than the prior quarter and prior year. Demand as reflected in vehicle views vs. inventory continued to increase in December, suggesting increasing interest in vehicles in most categories as dealers look ahead to spring.
MSRP for most 2014 models appears to be notably higher than prior model years, especially Harley-Davidson and side-by-side products. It is too early to tell if this will produce higher AWP at auction when those units comprise a sufficiently greater share of the mix.
All data provided by National Powersport Auctions. For more information, please visit www.npauctions.com or call (888) 292-5339.