This is off of NewsDay.com:
Truck, SUV values driving upward
If you’ve got a pickup or an SUV that you’re thinking of selling, this might be a good time.
Two reports out in recent days – one from the Kelley Blue Book and another from Manheim Consulting, the auto auction company based in Atlanta – say values of many used vehicles rose from January to February and again from February to March, with pickup trucks out front, gaining more than 17 percent in value from the beginning of February to the beginning of March.
Juan Flores, Kelley’s director of vehicle valuation, says pickup values rose so much because their values had fallen so much last year, when gasoline prices soared beyond $4 a gallon in the summer and then in the fall when a flood of bad economic news brought the new- and used-vehicle markets to a virtual halt. “Those trucks were beat up so awful,” he said. “During November and December they were falling like $1,000 every couple of weeks.”
For example, he said, a used 2007 Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab 1500 that would have sold at a dealership for $13,250 on Feb. 1 would have been worth $16,600 by the beginning of March. SUVs also were hit hard and are recovering strongly now – by about 9 percent in February in the case of the full-size models, Kelley said.
“No question, Americans love big cars,” said dealer John J. Vigorito, whose family runs Security Dodge/Chrysler in Amityville. He said he’s noticed the trend at his store as well.
Flores says a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe worth $18,800 at the beginning of February would have increased to $21,700 by the beginning of this month.
Conversely, Kelley found, the rush to subcompacts and hybrids is over. Values of both fell from February to March, and Flores expects that trend to continue.
Kelley’s values are based on transactions at dealerships and do not reflect prices in private sales.
Another reason for the recoveries of many vehicles’ values, says Flores, is buyers opting for used cars instead of more expensive new ones. And the dramatic drop-off in new-vehicle sales means fewer people are trading in used cars so the supply is somewhat curtailed.
Vigorito says the decision by the Detroit Three to reduce low-profit sales to fleets also has reduced the used-car supply pool.
Still, used-car values overall are lower than two years ago and lower than one year ago, by 5.2 percent and 2.6 percent respectively, says Manheim. It’s just that they’re better than they were earlier this year and late last year.
The people who run the Chicago-based Web site Cars.com say Web inquiries about used vehicles are way up from last year. Plus, a recent survey done for Cars.com of more than 1,000 consumers found 32 percent who had been thinking of buying a new car are now looking for a more affordable used car because of the weak economy. That’s up by 5 percent from October.