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Strength of Used-Car Sales Hinges on Potential Stimulus

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Auto Remarketing, Oct. 8, 2020 – There is likely to be 36.1 million used-vehicle sales this year, according to the latest forecast from Cox Automotive.

But that projection, and the company’s forecast for new-car sales, could hinge on whether another federal stimulus package arrives.To better illustrate that dynamic during Wednesday’s quarterly Manheim Used Vehicle Value index call, Cox Automotive’s Jonathan Smoke turned to the music of the late great Eddie Van Halen and his rock-star bandmates.

“If we fail to see any stimulus before year-end, the odds grow for a double-dip recession and higher unemployment to end the year,” Smoke began. “If that’s the case, credit will become more challenging and sales could be lower than we’re forecasting. If we have a bigger stimulus package, the used market could particularly be stronger, and of course, much continues to depend on the virus itself and the timing of vaccines. 

“So, let me frame the importance of a stimulus package for the used-car market by also paying tribute to the rock legend who passed away (Tuesday) after a long battle with cancer, Eddie Van Halen,” he said. “The difference that new stimulus would mean for the used-car market is the difference between two tracks on one of my favorite rock albums of all time: ‘1984.’

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