Used Car Sales Going Strong and Profitable for Auto Retailers

Used car sales have been hot late­ly for auto retail­ers, sur­pass­ing new car sales in third quar­ter earn­ings reports. Find­ing eas­i­er cred­it and increas­ing prices seen on new car win­dow stick­ers have been dri­vers of used vehi­cle sales. Grow­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty in cer­ti­fied pre-owned vehi­cles is also help­ing. Here are the lat­est results from sev­er­al large, pub­licly trad­ed deal­ers.……….

  • Car­Max, the nation’s largest retail­er of used vehi­cles, saw a 14% jump in used vehi­cles sales in the third quar­ter com­pared to a 10.5% for new vehi­cle sales. Earn­ings saw a huge gain – 28% for the quar­ter, which was the high­est in sev­er­al quar­ters. Car­Max oper­ates about 143 stores in 72 mar­kets, and just opened four loca­tions in the third quar­ter.
  • Lithia Motors report­ed that Q3 same-store sales of used retail vehi­cles increased 13% from a year ago, with an 11% increase in new car sales. Lithia expects used sales to increase 31.5% this year and 38% next year. The auto dealer’s earn­ings climbed 17% in Q3, and sales increased 21%.
  • Penske Auto­mo­tive Group had a sales increase by 11.6% of used vehi­cles in the third quar­ter with a 9.2% gain in new vehi­cle sales. Penske’s same-store sales of used vehi­cles increased 16.6% dur­ing that quar­ter.
  • Group 1 Auto­mo­tive report­ed that strong demand for used vehi­cles helped its prof­it grow 31% in the third quar­ter, which was the biggest increase in two years. Used car sales grew 16.2%, while new vehi­cle sales increased by 9.7%.

Strong used vehi­cle sales vol­umes with high prof­it mar­gins are help­ing these deal­er chains see strong stock price trends. New vehi­cle sales are expect­ed to be strong, as well, and now there appears to be more of a bal­ance between new and used vehi­cles in pric­ing and prof­its.



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