Pre-Owned Demand Remains ‘Hot’ as Warm Weather Hits, NPA Says

Pre-owned vehicles sales are heating up in second quarter of 2017, particularly in May, Jim Woodruff, chief operating officer at National Powersport Auctions said during Powersports Business‘ State of the Industry webinar yesterday. While it is hard to pinpoint why pre-owned vehicles are “hot,” the likely attribution is due — in part — to the warm weather, he added.

Pre-owned demand is outpacing prior years, and “many dealers reported needing more inventory,” Wooodruff said.

Additionally, “improved financing and fresh riders have an impact on the wholesale market,” Woodruff said, and “improved weather may extend the selling season.” The wholesale market’s transition to “summer norms” usually begins in May.

The average wholesale price for domestic cruisers declined slightly — down about 1% — in May, as compared to the prior three months. The average wholesale price for on-road vehicles softened, down about 3% to 6% in May versus the prior three months, while the average wholesale price for off-road vehicles has remained strong — up 4%.

Pre-owned demand has attracted several lenders to offer used-vehicle financing in recent months. Yamaha Motor Finance Corp. USA, for example, extended its used-vehicle credit card pilot program beyond its initial trial-end period of March 31, Vijay Patil, the captive’s chief risk and strategy officer, told Powersports Finance in April. The program was launched in February to finance nearly all powersports brands and used vehicles up to seven years old.

Pre-owned vehicles will continue to attract fresh riders, Woodruff said. In the meantime, new unit sales will benefit longer term from strong resale values and future buyers. “I feel very positive about this trend, and I feel we need to do more work,” Woodruff said.

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