Used car pricing update, earthquake hits chip factories.
Welcome to Topmarq Dealer Weekly, your snapshot of industry news and happenings. This week we’ll look at a few blips in the otherwise unexciting world of used car pricing. And not to sound like a broken record, but there’s a new development with semiconductor manufacturing. We’ll also look at why a new Maserati may affect your bottom line.
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Market at a Glance
Another dip in used car pricing
Coupes take a hit
What’s going on with used Chevys, Dodges, and Jeeps?
The averages for used car transactions continue to slide, according to CarGurus. It’s not enough to lose sleep, but a 1.23% drop over the last 30 days means the typical used car is selling for $30,312 ($109 less than last week). This also calls attention to another threshold; average pricing has fallen over the previous 90 days. It’s not even an entire percentage point (0.75%, to be precise), but it’s a trend to watch.
Last week we talked about how used commercial vans are getting more expensive despite overall falling averages. Nothing has changed on that front, but let’s look at the other side of the coin. We’re talking about pre-owned coupes. The numbers show a 1.23% and 2.06% drop for 30- and 90-day averages, respectively. And while the average used car has seen an almost 32% year-over-year increase, it’s only 27% for coupes. This all adds up to a body style that didn’t have as much of a price hike as other types and whose average transaction amounts are falling faster as well. What’s your inventory of Mustangs and Camaros like?
Drilling further into the numbers, certain brands are encountering drops in their used car transaction values. We’re looking at you Chevy (↓1.65%), Dodge(↓1.61%), and Jeep (↓1.21%). The data stands out as the transaction amounts for most other brands (in the second-hand arena) fell less than 1%.
Let The Chips Fall
Automotive fortunetellers had been forecasting that 2022 was the year for getting back to normal as far as semiconductor production is concerned. But it may be time for them to polish their crystal balls as last week’s earthquake in Japan put several Renesas plants out of commission temporarily. Why the concern? Many automakers (especially Ford, Toyota, and Nissan) rely on Renesas chips in some capacity. And if you keep track of doom and gloom, one of the Renesas facilities was knocked out last year by a major fire; it had only recently returned to normal production.
Some good news. According to the company, two of the plants are returning to normal, with the third at half-capacity. But, there’s no word on how this hiccup will affect new car production.
Why Maserati’s New SUV Matters
We’ll leave the detailed car reviews for other outlets, but Maserati’s new compact Grecale SUV should make sellers of other premium SUVs take note. Sharing a twin-turbo V-6 from the company’s MC20 supercar, the top-tier Grecale Trofeo will push out 523 ponies and promises a 3.5-second 0-60 time. Two lower versions will use a mild-hybrid four-banger for 300 or 330 horsepower. There’s an all-electric trim in the works, too. The Grecale will start at $65,000 and begin hitting U.S. streets in the second half of the year.
As luxury SUV buyers are often distracted by newer and shinier objects, expect to see Grecale cross-shopping with the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Porsche Macan. This Maserati will likely take a bite out of sales from its corporate cousin, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio (both come from the same factory in Italy and share a platform). Should we start a betting pool to guess when the Grecale reigns as the brand’s best-seller?