8 April 2016

Graph of the Week: Sales Rates by Price

As we noted last week, the most expensive cars are only a tiny fraction of the overall vehicle population but make up a significant chunk of that population's value. Meanwhile, 90 percent of the market is comprised of cars worth less than $100,000, although their collective value is a much smaller percentage of the market's overall worth (34 percent in 2015). Cars priced in that wide swath of value between $100,000 and $1,000,000 split the difference, making up nearly 10 percent of the vehicle population and approximately one third of the market by value.

This broad middle has been very active and has counteracted slowing growth at the top of the market. Until recently, that is. Over the past 12 months, sell-through rates for both the lower and upper price tiers have been mostly consistent while the middle has slipped from 81 percent to 71 percent. Cars priced between $250,000 and $500,000 saw the biggest decline, with their sell-through rates dropping from 78 percent to 64 percent over the past year.

While the market has slowed, sellers’ expectations haven’t, especially in the middle of the market. As a result, it has become tougher to sell cars in this segment and will remain so until owners recognize that there has been a shift.

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