New vehicle sales were up 11 percent in 2010, and used vehicle sales increased 4 percent, according to the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA), Frederick, Md.
Likely as a result, fourth-quarter 2010 auction volume was up 1.4 percent over the same time in 2009. This increase marks the first year-to-year volume gain since early 2008, the auto association reports.
“In 2010 the volume was down 5.7 percent, that’s the third annual decline in a row,” says NAAA Executive Director and National Auctioneers Association member Frank Hackett. “But I think we’re starting to see the volumes looking a little bit better in the last quarter.
“What we’re going to see is volumes increase probably in ’11 and in ’12. They’re not going to be big increases, but we’re going to see it go up again.”
The NAAA attributes strong auction prices in 2009 and 2010 to supply constraints created by the recession. In 2010, prices increased 3.7 percent over 2009.
“The average price per vehicle is definitely up,” Hackett says. “People are paying more in the lanes for those vehicles, and that’s because there’s been a shortage of vehicles.”
Sara Edgington, CAI, AARE, CES, who conducts auctions on location for about 10 dealerships in her area, says her company, TNT Realty, Auction & Appraisals, Round Rock, Texas, had a strong 2010.
“Typically we have seen that the last part of the year, the last quarter, kind of gets slow,” she says. “This last year, we finished very strong. It almost was like we were already in the January, February, March selling season.”