Home » Used Car Wholesale Values Are Finally Starting To Fall, But Don’t Get Too Excited

Used Car Wholesale Values Are Finally Starting To Fall, But Don’t Get Too Excited

Morning Dump Used Car Wholesale Values
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Used car wholesale values fell again, Mercedes and Rivian team up to make vans, Ford gives BlueCruise an update. All this and more in today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

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Used Car Wholesale Values Dropped Four Percent Last Month

Car Dealership On Western Ave 2
“Car Dealership on Western Ave” by David Hilowitz is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

It’s fairly early on in a new month, which means it’s time once again to check in on the Manheim Index and see how used car wholesale values are doing. While wholesale values aren’t always indicative of retail prices, Manheim auctions move such immense volumes of used vehicles that the index is a fairly good indicator of market direction. This month, good news: Used car wholesale values are down four percent month-over-month, falling to their lowest levels since October of 2021.

In August, Manheim Market Report (MMR) values saw larger-than-normal declines that were consistent over the month. Over the last four weeks, the Three-Year-Old Index decreased a net 2.5%. Over the month of August, daily MMR Retention, which is the average difference in price relative to current MMR, averaged 98.3%, meaning market prices were below MMR values.

Hey, that’s pretty good. It’s not all roses, though. Used car wholesale prices are still up 8.4 percent year-over-year. What’s more, nobody really knows where the bottom is on this one. Automotive News reports that according to Black Book, it could still be years before used car prices return to normal.

Though wholesale prices are expected to further decline in the next one to two years, they will likely still be 30 to 40 percent above pre-COVID levels, according to an estimate from Alex Yurchenko, Black Book’s chief data science officer.

“We are in this elevated price environment for the foreseeable future,” Yurchenko said Wednesday. “The main reason is inventory. We’re not going to have the same level of used inventory coming back to the market in the next several years.”

In any case, even though market conditions are improving, buying a popular used car won’t be cheap for quite a while. However, if you’re like us and are interested in buying an unpopular used car with the resale value of a Jesus-shaped chicken nugget, Mark’s got you covered every weekday morning with Shitbox Showdown.

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Mercedes And Rivian Team Up For Vans

Der Neue Mercedes Benz Sustaineer The New Mercedes Benz Sustaineer
Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz

As the era of compact commercial vans for America comes to a close, the electric commercial van era is only just beginning. Reuters reports that Mercedes-Benz and Rivian are teaming up to make electric commercial vans. From the sound of it, Mercedes-Benz seems pretty stoked on this new joint venture.

Mercedes-Benz Vans chief Mathias Geisen told reporters this would be a 50-50 joint venture and said talks should be concluded “very soon.”

“We have a lot of expertise when it comes to industrializing (vans)… but on the other hand Rivian brings in a lot of new technology expertise when it comes to electric mobility,” he said. “That’s the right match to find a win-win situation here.”

Melding Rivian’s EV tech with Mercedes’ manufacturing capacity sounds like it could produce very good vans. In fact, vans on both Rivian’s Light Van platform and Mercedes-Benz’s new VAN.EA platform are expected to roll out of a factory in Poland, Romania, or Hungary in a few years’ time. It’s no secret that Rivian has experienced issues delivering vehicles, or that Mercedes-Benz hasn’t yet built an electric van on a bespoke platform, so it’s possible that this partnership could give both companies a lift.

Germany’s Investigating Issues With Tesla Autopilot

0x0 Models 01
Photo credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

According to Reuters, German business magazine WirtschaftsWoche reports that German transport authority KBA is reportedly investigating “abnormalities” in Tesla’s Autopilot Level 2 advanced driver assistance system.

While some of the problems found during the investigation, which has been running since the start of the year, have meanwhile been remedied, there are some outstanding ones where “further remedial measures are still being tested and secured,” said the spokesperson, according to WirtschaftsWoche.

This reported German investigation comes as NHTSA is actively investigating issues with Tesla’s Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems following several high-profile fatal collisions. While the reported patching out of some problems is good, it sounds like there’s still a lot of work to be done in getting Autopilot up to KBA’s standards.

Ford Gives BlueCruise A Big Update

2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E
Photo credit: Ford

Ford has announced some big updates to its BlueCruise hands-free Level 2 advanced driver assistance system in what the automaker’s calling version 1.2. While mapped hands-free driving very much has its limitations, Ford’s Doug Field outlined some benefits of the updates in a media release.

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“We are investing in our ADAS team to constantly improve BlueCruise and ActiveGlide for our customers,” said Doug Field, Chief EV & Digital Systems Officer, Ford Model e. “The latest improvements allow customers to command lane changes using just a turn signal, and make hands-free driving feel more human-like by smoothly slowing down for turns, and giving more room to large vehicles in neighboring lanes. These improvements are just the beginning of a constant journey toward improving safety and, in the future, giving customers valuable time back.”

Hands-free lane changes do sound nice, while lane-positioning should give a little more time to react should a nearby semi truck wander out of its lane. However, I’m not so sure about this slowing down for turns thing. While there’s a chance it could work well, BlueCruise can only be activated on mapped highways and it would be rather annoying if a Ford driver using BlueCruise ends up disrupting the flow of traffic. Also, there’s a perverse joy in letting driver assistance systems lean on the tires a little bit harder. In any case, the update should soon come pre-installed on vehicles, starting with the Mustang Mach-E this autumn.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. It’s Friday, which means that weekend wrenching is almost here. I just received some new fog lights for the 325i, so I’m hoping to throw those in soon. Whether you’re bolting on new parts, performing routine maintenance, or doing a touch of bodywork, I’d love to hear what you have planned for the weekend.

Lead photo credit: Nissan

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FUCK YOU
FUCK YOU
1 year ago

This weekend I dropped the transmission in the Miata, which is something I’ve never done before. It’s been having problems with its pilot and throwout bearings, which will be getting replaced. While I’m in there, I’m also replacing the clutch, rear main seal, and tailshaft seal.

It wasn’t as hard a job as I’d worried it might be. (Thanks, YouTube!) I didn’t have any major problems with the fasteners, which is always a concern when working underneath a New England car. Several bolts were rather difficult to get at, but in the end a combination of extensions and U-joints got them all out. A couple of bolts rounded off, but miraculously they were the few ones that had nuts on the other side rather than going into threaded holes, and not only was I able to reach those nuts, but also they came off without just spinning the bolts. Those’ll get replaced going back in, and everything will get a dose of anti-seize.

The most fun part, if you want to call it that, was actually dropping the trans. The recommended procedure for this was to get it so that it’s supported by one loose bolt at the bell housing, and then by the Power Plant Frame (a structural member that roughly parallels the transmission) at the other, which itself is held on by just a single loose bolt such that it can swing out of the way. Then you lie on your back under the transmission (with a knee up at the driveshaft end to keep it from from dropping onto your ‘nads), undo the last bolt, kick the PPF out of the way, and just drop the whole thing onto your torso. At this point you shimmy/squirm out of there and drag your greasy prize out from under the car.

The clutch had some life left on it as it turned out (a fresh one will go in anyway, of course) but the throwout bearing had worn grooves in the tips of the pressure plate’s fingers. The flywheel could be resurfaced, but honestly it’s cheaper and easier to just get a new one. Both of the aforementioned seals were definitely leaking, and both bearings—the reason I was in there to begin with—were completely shot. I’m excited to put it all back together again, and have that part of the car sorted out for the future.

FUCK YOU
FUCK YOU
1 year ago
Reply to  FUCK YOU

Oh yeah, I also changed the oil on my partner’s Prius and then crawled around under there to figure out what was causing that rattle she’d reported. Turns out that yet again the exhaust heat shields were coming loose—who would have thought that using bolts to secure what is essentially thick tinfoil in a high-vibration environment would be a problem? *Sigh* A few more stainless steel zipties later, everything was tight again.

Captain Avatar
Captain Avatar
1 year ago

Weekend: Lots of rain, so finally watching ALL of the X-Files. I was a working college student when it debuted, and tried to use my VCR or watch the overnight re-run at my radio job (using closed captioning).

I loved what I saw, but I missed a LOT of episodes.

Othewise, gaming with the kid, reading, and the never ending laundry…..

Jason Masters
Jason Masters
1 year ago

im buying a ’12 fiat 500 5MT (no not an abarth) this weekend because i really need a change from volvos and more volvos, and also because i warped the head on my V50.

HelenHolloway
HelenHolloway
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason Masters

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Ironhorse78
Ironhorse78
1 year ago

What about the Virgin Mary nugget? F*ckin patriarchy.

Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
1 year ago
Reply to  Ironhorse78

Maybe there are a lot of Catholics where you live but I just escaped Valdosta.

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
1 year ago

Tomorrow will be the conclusion of the carport project and in whatever time is left as well as Sunday I’ll be sorting the rest of the Morris Traveller interior.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 year ago

Mercedes is switching Ev suppliers! The B-Class electric motor was made by Tesla and had lots of problems.

So now they’re going to use Rivian, a EV company run by an adult

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
1 year ago

Weekend: Taking my recently licensed kid to Tire Rack’s Street Survival driving class. I’m really hoping she learns not to make all the mistakes I made in my teenage driving years.

05LGT
05LGT
1 year ago

I’m not so confident that they’re getting used car long term pricing right. They seem to be basing the forecasts on the assumption of steady or rising vehicle usage. Any time spent driving or using mass transit shows that WFH is still more prevalent than in the before times. Less commuting means less miles driven means less need for replacement. Only looking at the reduced supply without including the possibility that usage may be permanently depressed isn’t good forecasting.

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 year ago

I took care of the oil change and tire rotation last weekend, but I still need to replace the brake rotors and pads. They probably don’t all need to be replaced front and rear right now, but as long as I’ve got the wheels off and my hands dirty I might as well do all of them.

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 year ago

“ However, if you’re like us and are interested in buying an unpopular used car with the resale value of a Jesus-shaped chicken nugget, Mark’s got you covered…”

You’ve got that all wrong. You don’t sell your Jesus nugget; you keep it in a sanctified freezer and charge people $10 to pray in its presence. The long term revenue is what pays off.

Mark Stockmaster
Mark Stockmaster
1 year ago

I already got done most of my wrenching for the week. Replaced the starter on my k-swap miata and did some playing around with the throttle body. I’m also staring at the box of pads and rotors for my daily golf r… I need to install them… I just don’t want to.

Parsko
Parsko
1 year ago

Nothing. I realized/discovered this week that I have an ulcer. Gotta take it easy for a bit. My September automotive month is on pause.

The Toecutter
The Toecutter
1 year ago

I’ll be upgrading the microcar to hydraulic disc brakes. I have a motorcycle lever and fluid reservoir, bicycle calipers upgraded with seals that won’t melt, and ATV disc rotors. The idea is to have a braking system that is only about 4 lbs, but is capable of panic stopping the vehicle from 100+ mph without anything overheating or otherwise failing. It currently has Avid BB7 cable pull brakes which were meant for bicycles, require frequent adjustments for the vehicle to brake straight, and are untrustworthy beyond 35 mph(which is why 35 mph tends to be my max cruising speed even though the vehicle can currently reach 50 mph on flat ground on a good day). The BB7s have panic stopped me from 50+ mph down a steep hill before, and one time the rotors were glowing red hot as a result, but I had to modulate the steering and application of the brakes to prevent from going into the median while a van was in the next lane over.

With this upgrade, I will have a higher cruising speed as a result of being able to brake straight and reliably at more car-appropriate speeds. It will eliminate many worries.

I also need the braking system to not weigh 20+ lbs as a dedicated motorcycle system would, because this vehicle is intended to be pedalable with the motor disabled. Too much weight and that is not viable. The completed vehicle cannot exceed 100 lbs for pedaling to be viable. Selection of components is a delicate balancing act. I don’t want this to be mechanically unsafe to operate at speed. The eventual goal is to cruise 70 mph, in a vehicle that in some U.S. jurisdictions is still legally a “bicycle”. Once the brakes are good, and everything else upgraded(roll cage, harness, solar car tires, light-duty moto rims, ect), it will have an upgrade to 13 horsepower and a higher voltage battery pack for the purpose of being able to accelerate like a car and top 100+ mph.

Ron888
Ron888
1 year ago
Reply to  The Toecutter

It’s been awhile since i looked at a photo.It’s a trike with two front wheels right?
Can you remind me the motor’s HP/watts?
Will you keep the corflute body or is the plan to make something ultra smooth in fibreglass,etc?

I hope to make a start on mine *eventually*. I have a house building project to do first,sigh

One More Last Chance
One More Last Chance
1 year ago

Weekend: Hoping to finish replacing the power steering pump on my ’95 Land Cruiser. I’ve been held up trying to locate the o-ring that sits between the pump and the engine block. I finally went to the local Toyota dealership to have them order it for me. While the parts department searched for the part, I wondered around the dealership. I have to admit it was pretty cool. I walked around the showroom and had a couple sales folk ask if I needed help. They were polite and backed off when I said I was just browsing. There were people and cars everywhere and I enjoyed the vibe. They even had free popcorn and a soda fountain.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 year ago

For the second (maybe third) weekend in a row, I’ll be tearing up carpet and putting down LVP. It would be going much better if there weren’t a bunch of other obligations sprinkled through every weekend.

Scottingham
Scottingham
1 year ago

I just want autopilot or whatever they want to call it for traffic jams only. Seriously, just let me screw around with my phone or something until 30mph and we’re good.

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
1 year ago

Weekend: Off to Germany for my annual motorcycle trip. Well, it’s supposed to be annual, but the last time was 2019 because of COVID. Looking forward to riding my BMW 1150GSA in the Alps again and hoping the (what-were-they-thinking) servo brakes haven’t died from lack of use.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 year ago

Tomorrow is the annual All-British Field Meet at Portland International Raceway. Several hundred of Britain’s finest feats of automotive engineering (plus a bunch of modern Minis) all gathered on the lawn in front of the track, vintage racing and slalom runs on the track, and my yearly Chocolate Hobnob fix. And I imagine a tribute or two to Her Late Majesty. This year’s featured marque is Triumph; I’m really hoping someone brings a Dolomite. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one there.

Eddie Wuncler
Eddie Wuncler
1 year ago

Weekend: not so much the weekend but at some point next week I’m looking to sand what’s left of my Camry hoods peeling clear coat down and re apply a can of clear coat. I’m thinking 800 grit should be safe

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
1 year ago

“I just received some new fog lights for the 325i, so I’m hoping to throw those in soon. Whether you’re bolting on new parts, performing routine maintenance, or doing a touch of bodywork, I’d love to hear what you have planned for the weekend.”

I may end up working on a computer build I haven’t gotten to that has been sitting for ages. Depends how I end up feeling. I very much need to do the back brakes on the newly acquired Saab. Pad life is “no” and rotors are “two turntables and a microphone.” But in order to do this, I end up needing to drive all over town because shop A has the correct rotors but not the pads or retaining screw, shop B has the pads but not the rotors or screw, and shop C has the screw but not the rotors or pads.

I might just break down and order from TireRack since I also need to drop an obscene amount of money on tires with them anyway.

SuperBeta
SuperBeta
1 year ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Have you heard of our lord and savior, FCPEuro.com?

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
1 year ago
Reply to  SuperBeta

You mean our lord and savior, “Backordered, No ETA”?

For fucking brake pads.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 year ago

Weekend: second oil change on new engine. Going from semi-synthetic to full synthetic. Kia just changed their oil recommendation to full synthetic.

Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
1 year ago

Weekend: The Spark has a squeaky belt I need to replace, and it seems about the right time to visit the storage garage and swap out my ’94 Cadillac Fleetwood for the ’82 Jaguar XJ6. I still need to run some fuel through that one this year and hopefully there are plenty of nice days left to do so.

Paul B
Paul B
1 year ago

Weekend: Doing the right thing, giving my friend a hand getting all the hazardous waste out the garage of his cottage in that his in-laws had accumulated over 40+ years down to a collection site (TBF, better in the garage than on the lawn as many have done in the past).

And drink beer.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

“This month, good news. Used car wholesale values are down four percent month-over-month, falling to their lowest levels since October of 2021.”

I mean this is good news if you’re a used car buyer, not so much if you’re looking to trade in for a new car.

Mr.Asa
Mr.Asa
1 year ago

Weekend: Bought a ’18 Miata this past week. This weekend I assume I’ll be going over it and checking out what it might need and generally puttering around.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr.Asa

Nice choice! Can we expect a DT-esque deep dive article on what you find?

Mr.Asa
Mr.Asa
1 year ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

Probably not, I don’t have access to a lift anymore. Except for the exhaust, its pretty stock. Previous owner put a RoadsterSport SuperStreet TwinTip on it. Gives it a nice sound.

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