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Used car sales to rise in 2018

19 Nov 2017
Used car sales to rise in 2018

U.S. new vehicle sales are going to decline in 2018, but economists say used vehicle volume will grow 2 to 5% next year. The added used volume should help franchised dealers offset lower new vehicle sales, but independent dealers face greater competition for inventory, a panel of economists told the combined Used Car Week conference and National Auto Auction Association convention here.



The used vehicle industry can expect a strong general economic climate but will face continued challenges of shrinking margins, lower vehicle prices, disruptive technologies and political and regulatory uncertainty, the panelists agreed. More used vehicles re-entering the marketplace will further depress prices in 2018, said Tom Kontos, chief economist at KAR Auction Services, who predicted used volume will rise as much as 5 percent in 2018. Ira Silver, NAAA chief economist, forecast 2 to 3 percent higher used vehicle volume next year.



Jonathan Smoke, Cox Automotive's chief economist, noted that the 2018 used-vehicle sales gains would be driven by increased supply, mostly because of 300,000 more off-lease returns. He predicted auto auctions would have flat volume in terms of retired fleet vehicles and units wholesaled by dealers, plus only a small increase in repossessions. Smoke estimated that 39 million used vehicles will be sold in 2017, including private sales from one individual to another. He predicted a 2 percent increase in 2018.


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