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Business Management

Pre-Owned is Heating Up

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Average Wholesale Prices (AWP) rose again in April, in many cases outpacing average prices from the same time last year.

Dealer appetite for comparable product rose again in April for all categories as consumer demand continues to rise as we near the peak of the selling season. Many dealers report that they can’t get enough inventory right now to fill their need, a key driver that propelled the April market.

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Major Product Category Prices Positive: By the numbers, average prices rose modestly for all major product categories over the three prior months. Although some categories trended down slightly in April compared to last April, the effect was due to either an older or lower-MSRP model mix than the prior period.

On a month-month basis, average prices for domestic and metric cruisers, sportbikes and ATVs were roughly flat, while MX bikes were up and side-by-sides were down due to product mix.

Wholesale Volume Declined: The total number of units sold through all auction venues declined in April. The volume of repossessed vehicles was up slightly, while the number of dealer consignment units fell. Both product sources normally rise this time of year, but the strong retail market for pre-owned units has kept vehicles in dealers’ showrooms, which is a good sign for the industry.

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The product mix in April shifted slightly, with an uptick in metric cruisers and sportbikes and a decline in domestic cruisers as a percentage of total volume. While the average age of wholesale vehicles has been fairly stable the last few months, the model age and average mileage rose in April, especially for cruisers, with the age for all units sold averaging about 6.6 years.

Will 2017 Mirror 2016? Last year, 2016 got off to a great start in both new and used retail sales during the first half of the year. Then the market hit the brakes last summer with elections, economics, and other uncertainties occupying the minds of consumers.

Demand for pre-owned this year appears to be even stronger than last year, new sales are holding their own, and the economic environment is not nearly as uncertain.

As a result, we believe that 2017 will not repeat the same steep fall-off as last year – seasonality still exists, but retail and wholesale sales should have a softer landing in 2017 as consumer confidence returns and powersports manufacturers, lenders and dealers work hard to help riders get the powersport vehicle of their dreams.

All data provided by National Powersport Auctions. For more information, please visit www.npauctions.com

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