This is absolutely true. It’s amazing how quickly the tight auto market is turning around. Last month, the Mannheim used car price index dropped by the most ever in recorded history. And just cruise by some car dealers and suddenly those empty lots are half full … maybe by the end of the quarter they will be full. And then suddenly there will be ads screaming about “$2k rebates”, “below MSRP”, and the usual auto selling stuff from pre-covid days.
Last night, I posted on an automotive group, following up on the late local news cheering “used car prices falling”. Right now, on Autotrader, in metro Detroit, there is a three year old Chevy Sonic (subcompact hatchback, the sort of car the automakers assure us “no-one wants”), in a trim so basic it has crank-up windows, with 11k on the clock. The dealer wants $18,995 for it. As I was tossing old paperwork in the shredder over the weekend, I found a listing I had printed out from Autotrader in March 2020, days before the plague got to Michigan. Also a three year old Sonic hatchback with crank windows and 15k on the clock. Dealer was asking $10,755, so it is still a 76% price escalation, for a sort of car “no-one wants”.