Used-car prices continue to rise
Before discussing how the U.S. was handling the coronavirus during a news conference this week, President Donald Trump wanted to discuss, of all things, the rising cost of used cars.
“The strength in new-car sales is also evident in the used-car market, where soaring demand – literally soaring demand – is putting upward pressure on the used-car prices,” Trump said on Aug. 4. “This is a leading indicator of the motor-vehicle industry.”
The trend Trump called out is continuing, according to market researcher J.D. Power. Wholesale auction prices have risen for 15 consecutive weeks, surging 34% during that span.
Prices collapsed in April, when physical auctions were shut down across the country. But new-vehicle sales have held up better than feared, leading to shortages of some models, particularly pickups and sport-utility vehicles. That’s sending some shoppers to used-car lots and helping drive up prices.