Average Wholesale Prices (AWP) showed surprising resilience in November, coming in above both the prior three-month average and last year’s November average.
Even domestic cruiser pricing, which has been softer than usual the last few months, was up in November. This is partly due to the seasonal shift in dealer appetite for inventory as well as what appears to be an end to the rising model age of vehicles sold.
Street categories rose 5-6%, while off-road categories were relatively flat. Side-by-Sides were the only category that showed softness, which is largely due to a rise in available inventory and a lower price point product mix.
In comparison to clean NADA wholesale book values, the seasonal trends have been on track with historical trends. Although the trend curves are shaped similarly to prior years, average Price/Book ratios have been running lower the last few months than what we would typically see.
This lower average P/B is more evident in domestic cruisers (82%) and ATVs (86%) than other categories. Metric cruisers and sport bikes have been the closest to historical book values (both 83-85%).
Average model age for units sold dropped, which is common this time of year as the new model year transition occurs.
The average model age for metric cruisers continues to remain stable instead of the steady rise seen in prior years, and their average mileage has remained flat as well. This should lift future prices for metric cruisers and we expect some price improvement in the coming months for domestic cruisers as well.
Macro-economic indicators continue to do well, despite softness in certain regions related to oil and agriculture. In addition, the election cycle has come to a close, ending with it the doubt and uncertainty surrounding who will be in charge.
Taken together, the traditional consumers that make up the backbone of powersports have a lot of reasons to be optimistic, as do the powersports dealers who serve them. If retail financing continues to grow, that optimism should translate into a great year in 2017 for both new and used powersports sales.
And if history is any guide, we should start to see that optimism appear in our wholesale pricing data in the coming months as dealers use the auction process to prepare for the spring selling season. During this holiday season, that would definitely be something we can all be thankful for.