The State of American Used Cars & Trucks: Amazing Charts of a Market Gone Haywire and Now in Process of “Normalizing”

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

We may well see more of these types of charts cropping up for other markets that too went haywire this year, and that too will begin to grapple with the underlying dynamics.

The used vehicle market – retail and wholesale – has gone through some history-making gyrations this year, and those gyrations are now being unwound. In the Good Times, about 40 million used vehicles were sold wholesale and retail per year. This year will be quite a bit below that. In November, sales lost more ground. But prices had gone haywire, and they’re now in the process of “normalizing.”

During July, August, and September, powered by skyrocketing used-vehicle wholesale prices in prior months, used-vehicle retail prices spiked by 15.1%, according to Consumer Price Index data, including a 6.7% spike in September from August, the biggest month-to-month jump since 1969.

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