The 2018 NADA Show in Las Vegas showcased a big change from Cox Automotive where they unveiled their "reinvented" market report, now dubbed “Used Car Market Report & Outlook.” Formerly known as the “Manheim Used Car Market Report,” the new and improved 23rd edition brings together data and insights from the Cox Automotive's brands.
This enhanced report boasts 10 chapters covering every aspect of the vehicle market. From used car sales, leasing and repos to retail, rentals, corporate fleets and beyond. It also highlights issues and insights regarding consumer profile and credit information. The insights provided in the report come from a variety of Cox contributors, including senior Cox economist Charlie Chesbrough, the director of economic industry insights Mark Strand and the manager of economic industry insights Zohaib Rahim.
According to the report, the used car industry enjoyed increased sales across the country, seeing a 1.8% boost in 2017. New car sales, on the other hand, dipped below record levels, falling nearly 2% as compared to 2016.
The report was optimistic about 2018, forecasting 39.5 million sales in the upcoming year. As the trend with increased sales for used car rises, the report forecasts a continuing dip for new car sales. The report predicts 16.7 million new vehicles will be sold in 2018, down from 17.1 million in the previous year.
Their optimism is tempered with pragmatism, however. Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke issued a news release acknowledging "[t]he U.S. economy in 2018 is ripe for continued strength in used-vehicle sales." But that doesn't mean smooth sailing. "Headwinds are growing", he says, "with the greatest risks being rising inflation, higher interest rates, and tightening credit. In this dynamic environment, a clear perspective on the trends impacting the industry is more important than ever.”
The new report also focuses on the impact of leasing on the used car market as well as the emergence of new technologies and services that are changing the way dealerships compete. In Cox Automotive president Sandy Schwartz's introduction to the report, she says "technological advancements and consumer expectations are evolving rapidly. We're all trying to stay ahead of a change curve that is getting steeper every year – in the automotive industry and well beyond.”