The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 26, 2021 – Anybody shopping now for a vehicle knows it is a seller’s market. A shortage of new cars has rippled out and created a frenzy in the used-car market. The prices of some used vehicles have soared above the original sticker price. It’s crazy.
“We’ve never seen anything like this,” said Matt Trapp, a regional vice president for Manheim Auto Auctions, the largest vehicle auctioneer in America, which was founded 76 years ago in Lancaster County. It is now owned by Cox Enterprises in Atlanta and resells nearly six million vehicles a year from about 80 locations in the United States. “The climb in vehicle values has been unbelievable.”
The used-vehicle market has gone from ice cold to red hot in a little more than a year.
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, vehicle rental companies and fleet owners unloaded large numbers of cars to auction houses such as Manheim, causing prices to sag and inventories to bulge. Wholesalers such as Manheim — it sells only to dealers — had an estimated 149-day supply on hand on April 9, 2020 (it’s now down to 20 days).