Topic: used vehicles
In a potential green shoot, August saw new vehicle inventory levels increase by 8.3%–a welcome shift after years of depressed inventory. However, used inventory levels declined by 2.5%. The average used listing price for both new and used were effectively flat in August, with new prices declining 0.1% and used prices increasing 0.2%. Days-on-market continued to increase, with new average days-on-market increasing by 0.5% while used vehicle days-on-market increased by 6.6% to nearly 80 days.
We continued to see mixed signals in May, with ongoing supply chain issues clouding production outlook and demand for vehicles remaining strong – however, not at any price.
April continued the trend of moving towards a ‘new normal’ – however, the path remains fragmented, and potential disruptions linger. Inventory levels improved for both new and used vehicles in April – but new figures remain down over 37% compared to last year, while used levels have rebounded substantially over the past several months and are now effectively flat with last year. One potential reason for the used turnaround is anecdotal commentary around fewer Canadian vehicles heading across the US border as wholesale prices have started to decline in the states.
In the Canadian auto market, there’s a clear bifurcation in the market where topline inventory and listing price continue to grow while days-on-market shrink. While consumers still want private mobility, they’ve become much more selective on what they’re willing to pay.
February, in some ways, unfolded as anticipated, with improvements in both new and used inventory. However, those gains in inventory didn’t transfer over to other key metrics, highlighting that the road to a new normal will remain a winding one.
The CarGurus New Vehicle Availability Index for Canada increased 2.9% compared to January – even with those gains, though, it remained down 47.4% compared to last year. Used inventory had an even larger month-over-month increase, rising 5%, while the year-over-year figure was still down 12%. And though monthly gains in inventory are a welcome shift in trends, we didn’t see any relief in vehicle pricing in February.
December provided one final swerve as new sales declined month-over-month since November, while new inventory levels increased. The CarGurus New Vehicle Availability Index increased 10% from November levels, providing a unique situation where new sales declined – however, it wasn’t exclusively tied to declining inventory levels. The used vehicle index also increased, though at a slower rate of 2.6%. While inventory levels improved in December, they remain far off on a year-over-year basis, with new down nearly 47% and used down 20%.
November saw a continuation of trends from last month in Canada, with inventory continuing to decline, prices rising, and days on market shrinking. Inventory decline was at a more modest rate of 0.6% from October for new, however, inventory levels are down 50.9% year-over-year. Used also saw declines in inventory but at a slightly higher clip of 2.1%.