Used-Vehicle Market Digs Out from Supply-and-Demand Chaos that Caused Enormous Distortions in Wholesale Prices

After spiking for months, used-vehicle wholesale prices turned south in late August, wholesale volume plunged again.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Used vehicle wholesale prices jumped 3.6% in August from July, and 15.8% from August last year, capping one heck of a magnificent price spike, based on Manheim’s mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted Used Vehicle Value Index:

But in late August, prices started backtracking, according to Manheim, the largest auto auction house in the US and a unit of Cox Automotive. For example, after having increased at a “decelerating pace” in the first four weeks of August (+1.6%), the Three-Year-Old Index fell 0.1% in the last full week of August, “ending the streak of 16 weeks of price appreciation.”

J.D. Power, a market research company focused on the auto industry, also noted a deterioration in prices, but starting in the second half of August, under plunging volume at wholesale auctions.

In the weeks before the Pandemic, weekly wholesale volume at auctions around the US of vehicles up to eight years old ranged from 109,000 to 115,000 vehicles a week. During the worst week in April, as the market froze up, volume collapsed to just 18,000 units. Then volume took off again and fully recovered by June, but then started declining again. Earlier in August, auction volume was down to 95,000 units a week.

But in the week ended August 30, auction sales of vehicles up to eight years old plunged 23% from the prior week, to 73,000, J.D. Power said in a note sent out last week. This was the lowest since May 3, and down about 35% from the pre-Pandemic range:

J.D. Power noted that part of the sales decline that week may have been due to Hurricane Laura, which struck western Louisiana on August 27.

By segment, auction sales of SUVs dropped 30% in the week ending August 30, compared to the prior week.  Sales in the premium segments fell 34%, but with wide variations. Sales of large premium cars plunged by 58% and sales of large premium SUVs and small premium cars plunged by 47%. Other premium segments held up better.

Auction prices, after the collapse in late March and April, and a blistering surge in May, June, and July, were losing steam in August, and peaked in mid-August, at 14% above their pre-Pandemic levels.

During the week ended August 23, prices declined a smidgen, and in the week ended August 30, prices declined by 1.0% – and “on the mainstream side were down again across the board,” J.D. Power said – forming a beautifully rounded top:

This weekly auction data shows how the decelerating price gains in late July and early August turned into weekly price declines in a systematic way, indicating that the underlying chaotic dynamics of the supply shock and the simultaneous demand shock were starting to “normalize” – and prices with them.

The data by J.D. Power and Manheim agree that the wholesale price surges in the prior months had been ginormous, and that prices weakened toward the end of August. In summary:

  • J.D. Power’s Weekly Wholesale Auction Price Index, after having dropped 1.1% over the past two weeks, was still up 14% year-over-year.
  • Manheim’s Used Vehicle Value Index was up 15.8% for the full month of August, compared to August last year.

The year-over-year prices spread across all segments in Manheim’s data, but were particularly strong with pickup trucks (+23%) and luxury cars (+20%):

In terms of retail vehicle sales, there has been no sign of pent-up demand, neither with used nor new vehicles.

Used vehicle retail sales in August were still down 2% from August last year, according to Cox Automotive estimates, running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20.3 million vehicles, down a tad from July.

New vehicle retail sales in August were down 15% from a year ago. By adjusting for the two selling days that this August was shorter than August last year, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales, at 14.0 million units, was down 6% year-over-year. For the first eight months of the year, retail sales are down 17%.

Fleet sales were still in collapse mode, down 51% in August year-over-year and down 44% for the first eight months of the year, as rental car companies are still defleeting, rather than buying units, with Hertz and Advantage still wending their way through bankruptcy proceedings.

And total new vehicle sales – fleet and retail combined – for the first eight months are down 21%.

During the early months of the Pandemic, a supply shock and a demand shock coincided, when retail sales collapsed, and the supply of used vehicles got squeezed from several directions, including:

  • The plunge in new vehicle retail sales led to a plunge of trade-ins at dealers, the mainstay of supply of used vehicles.
  • Leasing companies extended leases to avoid having to take back those units during that time, leading to reduced volume of off-lease vehicles entering the market.
  • Auto lenders put delinquent customers into loan deferral programs, rather than repossessing the vehicle, and those units didn’t reenter the market as repos.
  • With rental fleets in an existential crisis, first Hertz filed for bankruptcy in late May and then Advantage filed for bankruptcy, and the units that they needed to get rid of were tied up in bankruptcy court and couldn’t be sold.

But the supply shock has loosened up. At the end of July, Hertz Global Holdings struck a deal with creditors that allows it to sell at least 182,500 of its units by the end of this year; those units are now coming. Trade-ins are happening again in larger numbers, and off-lease units are showing up again, and the market is digging out from the mess that caused these enormous distortions in wholesale prices.

J.D. Power expects wholesale prices to continue to decline through the end of the year to where they’ll be just “slightly” higher than before the Pandemic. But given the uncertainties all around, and “given these unknowns,” it said that “a heightened degree of market volatility should be expected.” And I can go along with that assessment – given the gyrations in the wholesale market we have seen during the Pandemic so far.

SoftBank was only a cog in the huge machinery…. THE WOLF STREET REPORT: This Tech-Stock Sell-Off Is a Sign Something Broke

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  92 comments for “Used-Vehicle Market Digs Out from Supply-and-Demand Chaos that Caused Enormous Distortions in Wholesale Prices

  1. Wolf Richter says:

    Down. Read the article.

  2. Michael Engel says:

    1) Wholesale prices will turn lower, breach 100, in the next few months,
    before rising to a new all time high.
    2) In the next two years there will be a rotation from large pickup trucks
    to vans, midsize and compact cars, because of higher oil prices.

    • MarMar says:

      I very much doubt oil prices will rise much any time soon (if at all).

    • nick kelly says:

      Then the domestics are toast, because without full size trucks, which is the majority of their profit and where they are protected by a 25% tariff, there is not much left.

      • Weary Patience says:

        End the chicken tax!

      • LeClerc says:

        @nick kelly,

        Ford GM and Stellaris can’t build trucks fast enough. That’s the business they’re in.

        One day, the tide will shift and they’ll build something else.

        • Cas127 says:

          “One day, the tide will shift and they’ll build something else.”

          If they are too incompetent to produce competitive cars now, what magic will make them competent tomorrow?

        • nick kelly says:

          When oil hits 80 -100 as it has many times before, GM will leap back into small cars, destroying Toyota, Honda, Mazda. But this time after naming the last one Saturn, they’ll call it Uranus.

          Seriously, back out the 25 % tariff on trucks. GM is likely going bankrupt again.

      • Price Seeker says:

        Turns out the earlier predictions of used-car prices dropping in July were wrong. Why?

    • Anthony A. says:

      Vans? We have a 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan. On it’s best day, it gets 22 MPG, a bout the same as a new F150. Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna vans are about as thirsty.

    • Just Some Random Guy says:

      For someone who drives 12k miles a year, at $3 a gallon, the difference between 20 MPG and 30 MPG is $600 a year. Yeah all else being equal spending $600 less is better than spending $600 more. But for the vast majority fo drives it isn’t enough to make a difference in the vehicles they purchase. If you like driving an SUV, $50 a month savings in gas is not going to get you into a Camry (which is American built by the way).

      • MiTurn says:

        JARG,

        You make a good point. Fuel cost is only one component of the total cost of owning a car. Too often people make it out to be the most important.

      • JC says:

        All the good jobs are not here, it’s engineered mostly not here, the HQ’s are not here, it’s an American wealth harvesting machine any way you look at it.

        Built here is the battle cry of the ignorant.

        • Just Some Random Guy says:

          JC,

          Please learn some things before posting. Such as Toyota employees 3000 people at their HQ in Texas (used to be in CA but moved to Texas for the better business environment). Those 3000 in addition to the tens of thousands of people employed at plants across the country as well as regional offices. And of course the thousands of suppliers for those plants across the country that also employ tens of thousands of people.

          Like I said, learn things.

        • dr spock says:

          JC, your generalization is absolutely correct, very few exceptions

        • nick kelly says:

          This is not a black and white issue.
          Sure the designers are better paid but there are way more jobs building the cars.

          For a interesting parallel: there is no British car industry but there is a car industry in Britain.
          The French have been far less welcoming to foreign makers, especially Japanese and have had to write big checks to PSA to keep it from closing plants.
          So the French auto industry is under domestic control but it’s hard to say it’s healthier.

      • char says:

        Fuel costs don’t matter for new cars but they seriously matter for old cars. With a $3k car $600 is 20% so it will seriously depress its price. That hits the trade in value of a $6k SUV, which will hit the trade in value of a $12k SUV, etc.
        Most new cars are leased/debt financed so future trade in value is extremely important and it is through this mechanism that 20 MPG cars are killed during a $4 a gallon oil price.

  3. MonkeyBusiness says:

    People ran out of stimulus money.

    Solution: give out more stimulus money.

  4. Dano says:

    If anyone could afford new vehicles it would be the wife & I.

    Yet her car is 15 yrs old, mine 13 yrs old.

    People go into hock to buy crap they don’t need.

    It’s the “American way” — and they never seem to learn.

    • MonkeyBusiness says:

      Learning is not a trait associated with Americans.

      Go big or go home. Bet the farm? Remember it’s just a farm.

      • polecat says:

        Right. The farm that FEEDS you,me .. well, everyone!

        .. until the seed corn’s gone ..

        or, in the case of one’s fine conned-veyance .. it’s the repo man who rules!

    • Anthony A. says:

      Interest rates are low…time to BUY!

    • interesting says:

      I have a 2014 Camaro with, just rolled over to, 39,000 miles and a 2003 Silverado HD2500, 155,000 miles….I may never have to buy another car ever again.

      But I was just reading CR and they have an automotive last couple pages every month……..the price of a fully loaded car of any type is truly astounding……..who can afford OR would by a car that could almost cost as much as a house? Based on the son’s $115K home purchase last year….

      • Prof. Emeritus says:

        According to the tabloid press there are more 1M $+ production models on the new car market than sub-20K $ ones. Not sure how accurate this information is, but to me it seems like America is having a love affair with the automobile.

        • Anthony A. says:

          My brother-in-law in Santa Clara tells me there is (maybe was) a two year waiting list for new Ferraris and other expensive cars due to the wealth of the area. Your car is who you are, I guess!

        • VintageVNvet says:

          All those types of cars are collector’s items for the rich folks, and might just work out to be a very good investment, though clearly very not very liquid at times.
          Didn’t I read recently about a Ferrari sell for $300MM?
          IMO, that would represent a bit more than the real inflation since that car was sold, not to mention the official inflation.
          I would love to have the Bugatti that my grandfather drove back and forth from Winnetka to the loop in the 20s, the 1920s that is.

        • noname says:

          Tabloid being the key word. He used MSRP and not actual purchase price. He failed to list the QUANTITY sold of <$20k and ~$1M. He tagged Bernie Sanders in his tweet. Agenda-driven BS.

      • Thomas Roberts says:

        interesting,

        In my area, where a newer 2,500sq ft house is about $220,000 currently. Old houses start at about $80,000. Realtors have told me that about 15 years ago when SUV’s were starting to become the norm, it was common for a wife and husband to pull up separately in their big new expensive trucks and SUV’s and expect to get a house for less than than the cost of their cars.

      • Cas127 says:

        Where did your kid buy a SFH for 115k?

    • Just Some Random Guy says:

      I learned long ago that used cars are as expensive as new cars once they are out of warranty. I had an Audi once that needed $1800 of preventative maintenance. And that was before I needed new tires for $1000 and new brakes for $600. These weren’t repairs, these were consumables and preventative maintenance, things that are continually an expense on any used car. And it was all due within about 8 months. That same amount of money I spent on maintenance alone (not repairs) could have paid for a year’s worth of leasing a brand new version of that car.

      I’ve never driven a used car since. Lease for 2-3 years, never pay a dime in repairs, never change tires, never worry about brakes, never worry about anything. And I drive the latest tech, latest safety and best cars available.

      People like you who can (as you say) easily afford new cars but drive 15 year old cars make no sense to me. Enjoy life, you only have 1 to live.

      • Engin-ear says:

        “used cars are as expensive as new cars once they are out of warranty”

        Depends.

        The financial sweet spot is the 7 years old car you buy at 25% of sticker price and keep 10 years more.

        The financial savings may do up to 50% of new car price and maintenance.

        Plus you have a peace of mind: a new scratch on car body does not bother you.

        With all today’s credit abundance, you choose to buy a used car because you wish to have some controlled risk in your monotone life while betting on a small financial gain (vs new car).

        Oh, and you don’t buy media hype that you are not a serious person unless you have the latest iPhone and the latest car model.

      • Petunia says:

        I totally agree with you. I’ve owned new and used and new has always been cheaper in the long run if you keep the car a long time. Every used car we bought barely lasted through the payment schedule, about 3-4 years.

        The new ones can last a decade or more depending on how much you drive them. The used ones will never last that long because they already have too many miles on them when you buy them.

        There’s a financial adviser who is very popular who always tells people to buy a cheap used car for cash if they are in financial trouble. I think this is the worst advice you can give someone already on the financial edge. If the car goes and you can’t afford to fix it, you are worst off than being in debt.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          Petunia, your experience apparently does not apply to my 2004 Suzuki, owned since 2007. Or, my 1999 Saturn, owned since 2001. I expect both cars to last another 5 years with less than $1000/yr in maintenance. On the other hand my 1966 Triumph and 1972 Lotus are going to be quite expensive.

        • Petunia says:

          Lisa,

          I think $1K a year in maintenance is ridiculous, not counting tires. I owned a Mustang, purchased new, for 14 years and it didn’t cost me $1K in maintenance the whole time I owned it, except tires. It also didn’t have a lot of miles when I traded it in, less than 60K. I would have driven it more but it handled terribly in ice and rain, fishtailing, and I lived up North.

      • Zantetsu says:

        Great logic. You bought a European car, known to be expensive to maintain. then you are surprised at how expensive it was to maintain, and conclude that all used cars are expensive to maintain, instead of just getting a used car known to be cheaper to maintain. I mean you start with bad research, incorrect assumptions, and follow up with nonsensical conclusions based on false dichotomy. Well done.

        • Just Some Random Guy says:

          I wasn’t surprised, it just dawned on me that the money would be better spent on paying for new vs maintain the old.

        • Old School says:

          I bought a 2004 MB S430 about five years ago. So far probably the best value I have had in a vehicle. Very fuel efficient and comfortable. Great quality paint which is important if you don’t garage. Always joy to get behind the wheel. The key is to find a a good mechanic and repair the easy things yourself. The cars have such a bad reputation for expensive repairs you can buy a good ten year old one for 10% of what the car cost new. There is a good aftermarket for parts which the internet has made easy to find.

      • nick kelly says:

        That’s Audi. Never buy one or BMW or Benz without a complete warranty so new or leased.
        Here’s one I can’t stop repeating: new master cylinder for a Smart Car: $2000 Canadian. Just the part.

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        @JDRN – that’s an excellent strategy as long as your cash flow remains positive. No loss of work, no medical emergencies, etc., etc. Maintenance can be deferred, lease/purchase payments cannot.

      • Ridgetop says:

        JSRG,
        Hmm, I think your first problem was buying an Audi, lots of problems, very expensive to maintain and fix them, and BMW’s.
        I bet if you did the same comparison with a Camry or, maybe even a Lexus cost of maintenance would be a hell of a lot less, Repairs are almost non existent.

        180,000 miles on my 2006 Sienna, repairs were: “none”.
        Maintenance was: Tires, oil change, and brakes. Also part of maintenance is a new timing belt/ water pump replacement $700. Cost of new brake job on a Toyota Sienna $247, in Bay Area no less!

        Also after your warranty expires, stop going to a dealer for maintenance, they are a lot more expensive. Find a local repair shop with a good reputation, that specializes in your make of car.

        With that all said, I can see the advantages of leasing, “no worries”. But I bet it is lot more expensive to lease a Camry than buying one. But leasing a Audi is probably cheaper because they lose there value a LOT more and M&R are a lot higher compared to a Toyota.

        Cheers!

        • Ridgetop says:

          …and the wife’s Sienna was commuting up and down the mountains into the valley every day! A lot more stress on a car.

        • Just Some Random Guy says:

          Driving a Camry is like eating oatmeal. Keeps you alive I suppose, but is it a life worth living?

          :)

        • Happy1 says:

          Yes. We drive a 7 year old Subaru and a 14 year old 4 Runner, no repair costs beyond oil and tires, will likely last 10 more years with both vehicles trouble free, leasing continually is far more expensive unless you are writing off for business purposes.

          My cost of ownership on the 4 Runner is less than 2K a year now since purchase. Way cheaper than a lease for the same vehicle, like half as much. And the new ones have no improvement worth even a fraction more.

      • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

        If you want to have a reasonable experience driving a used car, try a Japanese car. I’ve known 2 people over the last 40 years that owned an Audi and neither had anything good to say about it.

        I’ve owned several used Japanese cars and never had a major repair. Just gas, oil, maybe a battery or brake pads every few years.

        They are inexpensive and ultra reliable cars. Perhaps the crap hits the fan and you need to replace an alternator or radiator.

        I know some guy that actually owns and drives a $100K vehicle. I feel sorry for him and wonder if he might be (over) compensating….

      • Cashboy says:

        Audi, BMW and Mercedes depreciate fast because their maintenance and repair costs are high and they are actually not that reliable in reality.
        Just watch Scott Kilmer on YouTube.
        He states that BMW = Big Money Waster.
        He always states that Toyota/Lexus last for hundreds of thousands of miles and have very few problems.

    • Nocte_volens says:

      We’re the same way. Her car is 9 years old, mine 12. Could easily afford to pay cash to replace them both with new if we wanted to. When we do buy it will be for something low mileage and about 3 years old.

    • Kurtismayfield says:

      I refuse to purchase a newer car.

      I don’t need wifi in my car. It opens up a big can of worms that no one should have to deal with. There is already too much done by the computers as it is. Do we really trust corporations to secure these wifi connections after years and years of watching them give Jack shit about consumer IT security?

  5. BuySome says:

    Eight years old? In the hi-tek world that’s like a horseless carriage. How are they going to sell those? Why you can’t even plug your “Whatever the heck it does” into that dash console. I know dead people with newer vehicles than that. When do they add that flying ball from Phantasm? Does the 400 page operators manual come included in the price? Who needs a rear view mirror…what’s behind me doesn’t matter.

    • Seneca’s Cliff says:

      Heck, 8 years is nothing. My daily driver is 27 years old and is on the original engine and transmission with no rebuilds. It is a straight six overhead cam Mercedes diesel.

      • Crush the Peasants! says:

        Congrats on not succumbing to consumeritis, but do you not care about the health of your neighbors? Especially a diesel that old, you are harming the health of your fellow citizens.

        • Happy1 says:

          You think the environmental consequences of buying a new car will outweigh that? Doubt it.

      • Paulo says:

        40 year old Westfalia waiting for me in the garage…..18 year old PU truck in new condition is my work vehicle. The Westie does have some idiot lights, though. The PU tries to think for me, like locking the doors when I don’t want them locked. It’s bullshit, actually. I hate new cars. Hate them. Waste of money.

        I’m with Seneca on this. Old and reliable is best, and all it takes is regular preventative maintenance to keep them going.

        • polecat says:

          and no stasi incased in a c-chip!

        • Jos Oskam says:

          @Paulo,

          “…tries to think for me, like locking the doors when I don’t want them locked…”

          Yes. And turning the radio off when you shift to reverse. And keeping your lane for you. And refusing to start unless you buckle up. And keeping the authorities informed of wherever you are. And so on ad infinitum.

          I sill love that “new car smell” like I did when I was a lot younger, but all this nonsense turns me off. In modern cars the essential machine is buried under a load of electronic crap that costs little to produce but is sold as essential innovation at kings ransom prices.

          As far as I’m concerned, no car produced in the new millennium is in the least attractive. I’ll stick with the old stuff and a well-equipped toolbox.

      • Helmut Beintner says:

        Unless you hit a million Miles, keep Trucking because that was the engine in Europe for service vehicles.

    • nick kelly says:

      Good sarc, but to be serious: GM sold the 250 cu inch six from intro in 1928 ( bad timing) until 1995. It got e-ignition and mickey mouse throttle body FI along the way but it was the same basic engine. And a pretty good one.

      Re: transmissions. Along with all these ‘hedonic’ improvements that supposedly justify prices: Blue Tooth etc., auto transmissions have in several cases become dramatically worse, with a number of different ones failing at 50 K. Consumer reports has a list of the top ten.
      Last year the lady of the house was car shopping and looked at a Nissan with the CVT trans. I entered ‘is it reliable’ and got reply: ‘I am a Nissan mechanic and no
      it isn’t.
      There are several class action law suits re: fleet sales with this trans.

      Nissan is not alone.

      • Thomas Roberts says:

        This is partly why many are hoping electric cars take over. If they can make a good enough battery, the electric car is superior in every way. Electric cars have very few moving parts, which are all very simple. A combined magnetic “engine” and brake for every wheel will probably become the norm, which will give it a superior all drive and handling. After that there is the part that angles the front wheels, a fully electric steering wheel, possibly a cooling/heating system for the battery, the cabin heating and air conditioner system, windshield wipers, door locks, and door windows. I think that’s about it. All of those parts are also relatively cheap, self-contained, and easy to source (very little differences between cars for the moving parts).

        After electric cars take over, it will also be far easier to start new car companies (Actual Competition) and most legacy car makers probably won’t make it. We are only a good battery away. Anything or anyone who pushes it in that direction is considered amazing by many, such as Elon, anyone who opposes or speaks poorly of Elon/Tesla is a heretic. Decades after Electric cars become the norm, having a car with over a million miles will be considered old, but, nothing notable.

        As for the overly expensive radio GPS integrated tablet computers and other such items, after actual competition takes over, hopefully all the speakers will have a simple audio connection, the backup camera, and possibly other stuff “steering wheel controls for radio” have simple connectors and then you can simply replace the screen that operates it all simply with a new one of your choosing. Basically if the Bluetooth system or GPS stops getting updated, you simply remove the tablet computer (screen) and put in a new one which has standardized connectors right there and you are good as new. The microphone is simply built into the tablet computer. This is all it takes, theirs no reason it’s complicated or expensive, except, planned obsolescence and automaker greed.

        • Jos Oskam says:

          “… If they can make a good enough battery…”

          This. And I am sorry but this small sentence takes away most of your argument for the current crop of EV’s.

          The battery is the problem. It has limited capacity, limited lifespan, enormous weight, takes time to charge and is extremely expensive. For it to become a viable competitor to a tank of gas or diesel, it has to become several orders of magnitude better in all these respects. And there is no breakthrough like that on the horizon.

          My 21-YO Land Cruiser has more than 200,000 miles on it and is good enough for another go at that timespan and mileage. Had it run on electricity instead of diesel, I shudder to think of the cost of battery replacements over such a lifespan. Or is one simply supposed to ditch the car once the batteries are tired? Fat lot of good that will do to the planet. Not to mention your wallet.

          The things that you describe may come to pass, but IMO only if these hopeless batteries are given up on. I have more confidence in hydrogen fuel cell technology than batteries.

        • MiTurn says:

          “This is partly why many are hoping electric cars take over.”

          I repair and maintain all of my own vehicles (yay Rock Auto!), but I wonder if I’ll be able to do so w/electric cars. I can probably learn my way around problems, but will the manufacturers prohibit me with ‘dealer only’ repair ‘walls?’

        • td says:

          In colder climates, such as southern Ontario, the battery drives the heat in winter. During cold spells, the range on EV’s is effectively halved by that. I can only imagine what the drain by air conditioning in 100F+ temperatures must be.

          I like electric cars and solar panels, but their true heyday will come when batteries and general power storage are five to ten times or so more cost effective. It will happen, but in more like 20 years than two years.

        • Harrold says:

          AC is much much more efficient than heating in an electric car.

          That is why some electric powered cars are only sold in the Southern part of the United States.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          Gee, battery life is no problem. Just turn it in at the end of the lease and lease another one. Thinking like that is the problem. Transportation does not need to be a constant negative cash flow.

        • Thomas Roberts says:

          It will be FAR easier to repair your own electric car as they become the norm, also they will brake down FAR less often.

          As for the cold effecting battery problems, that is a big issue right now, but, it’s because most current batteries use water in their chemistry and so they have a high freezing point, future batteries shouldn’t have this issue, because, they probably won’t use water or something will be added to the chemistry to raise freezing point.

          It would make sense to just put a huge amount of effort only into making the batteries, but, America seems incapable of doing that, so Tesla is the only major push forward. Not for everyone right now, but, for those who it does make sense for buying Teslas at this time, will push batteries forward, until, that battery breakthrough happens.

        • Thomas Roberts says:

          Lower the freezing point is what I meant to say. So it would have to be much colder, colder than where anyone lives, for the batteries to be effected. If they can figure this out, electric cars will outperform gas car in colder climates.

        • Happy1 says:

          Only a good battery away for the last 120 years or so. Good luck with the wait.

    • JC says:

      They just keep ladling on electronic crap no one needs or knows how to use. Merc seemed to be the first noticeable company doing this 10 yrs ago.

      Now it’s all the rage. They’ve reached the end on line on better suspension and motors so they need the next shiny bauble aka electronic crap in the middle of the dash to keep raising the prices.

      All the while reducing the reliability because one blown transistor out of many millions in some system on a chip controlling all that garbage means a $2000 repair bill for some center stack thing you never use expect to change the fan speed.

      Insane reducing a vehicle to consumer-grade disposable electronic junk.

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        I refuse to buy a new car until the onboard espresso machine includes a steamer for the milk.

  6. Lee says:

    Speaking of cars, I read an article from a ‘famous’ news agency and I quote:

    “Tesla’s recent stock rally has been driven by its blockbuster quarterly results…………………”

    No wonder people don’t trust the ‘news’.

    • Anthony A. says:

      Actually, Lee, a lot of people do trust the “news” and that’s why the U.S. is so screwed up (and getting worse). Most of us here know better.

      • MiTurn says:

        AA, you are 100% correct. The American mainstream media is not news but propaganda. Plain and pure. Finding real objective information is work, which many are unwilling to do.

        That being said, this is one reason why I read WS!

    • MCH says:

      The news nowadays is about clickbaiting headlines and sensationalist nonesense. So that they can grab ad revenue, and for those that don’t care, it’s about pushing their agenda rather than actually delivering news most of the time.

      • Lee says:

        “………………it’s about pushing their agenda……………”

        You want to hear about an ‘agenda’…………….

        As many of you know we are in lockdown and curfew in Melbourne. The curfew runs from 8:00pm at night to 5:00am.

        I’ve commented on our megalomaniac Premier on the site several times. Yesterday there was an interview with the Chief Health officer and a number of questions were asked.

        The result was that when questioned about the curfew, he stated it wasn’t his idea and it wasimplemented for no MEDICAL or HEALTH reason.

        The imbecile of a Premier running the state into the ground economically and socially stated:

        “If you want to go out and be unlawful now police have got the easiest set of arrangements they have ever had to catch you and fine you. That’s what a curfew delivers.”

        So basically the curfew was implemented to make the job of the police easier.

        When all this bs about the lockdown and such came out they even initially had people wearing masks inside their own cars even if they were driving alone.

        Anyway car sales data for Australia for August – the last data out:

        “The figures reveal a continuing downturn in the automotive industry. A total of 60,986 sales were reported during the month, down 28.8 per cent on August 2019 when 85,633 sales were recorded.

        On a year to date basis, VFACTS reported 575,906 sales for the eight months ending 31st August 2020, down 20.4 per cent on the same period in 2019 when 723,283 sales were reported.”

        The number for September are going to be even worse as the full impact of the lockdown hits in Victoria.

        • Petunia says:

          I saw pictures of a protest in Oz where the news claimed only a dozen or so showed up. It looked like a few thousand to me.

        • char says:

          Australia does not make cars, they are all imported, so low sales isn’t a disaster as it is in car making countries.

  7. Onionpatchkid says:

    I’ve been trying to buy a truck at auction for the last month for my 16 year old son
    and it’s totally insane. 18 year old trucks that should be wholesaling for $6000 are going for $16,000. I’m on the sidelines until sanity returns. My son will just have to wait.

    • Thomas Roberts says:

      Don’t be afraid to travel to buy a car or truck.

      • MiTurn says:

        Concur, use Craigslist and hit the local metro areas, if any.

        Doesn’t hurt to try and Craigslist is fa-ree!

    • Sam says:

      Wait ’till 1st Qt, best opportunity to buy (grew up in father’s used car biz).
      Never buy w/out pre-purchase inspection by a shop familiar with the brand (aviation protocol). My (late) father never bought anything at auctions, too many games being played.
      Purchase from those who need to sell!
      All The Best!

    • Cashboy says:

      Those Toyota Tacomas trucks hold their prices because they are reliable and good for 200,000 plus miles.
      If you are planning to keep the vehicle in the family for many years could be worth buying brand new.

  8. David Hall says:

    Consumer Reports reported many cars will last 200,000 miles without major repairs. I used synthetic oil in my engine. Avoiding frequent trade-ins may preserve wealth.

    • Anthony A. says:

      David:

      “Avoiding frequent trade-ins may preserve wealth.”

      Great comment and a good piece of advice!

      Thanks.

      • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

        You just reminded me a man who was my neighbor on a canal in FL. He had a very ugly home with fading, chipped paint and no landscaping. In the front yard was parked a brand new corvette.

        My home was also modest but it was freshly painted and I did a nice job of landscaping. We chatted one day and he explained that he bought a new corvette every 2 years, trading in the old one.

        I thought to myself: This fool. He is throwing away tens of thousands of dollars every time he buys a new corvette and throwing away more money when he trades in the old one!

        I’m sure the loved him down at the dealership. I see a lot of folks like him, driving really expensive vehicles.

        I think many (not all!) are thin-skinned snowflakes who are insecure. Driving that Hummer or big, badass truck is their statement to the world: I’m a winner. I’m a big, tough guy.

        They could never allow themselves to drive certain vehicles (say a Prius) as their ego couldn’t handle it.

        Not everybody mind you, but many….

    • Peter B says:

      We have a domestic stable of 4 Japanese SUVs (2×2003, 2006 and 2016 – wife’s) and a 17 yo BMW (me.) All carefully bought used with 100 something thousand miles on them or recycled from my wife and me. If I can keep the kid car repairs and maintenance around a thousand dollars each a year, I figure I’m doing ok. I do some of the work myself, and never had anything more expensive than a power steering pump replacement. And the kid cars all have over 200,000 miles on them and work just fine.

      • Cashboy says:

        Peter,

        You are making a mistake repairing your children’s cars !

        You should be teaching and making them repair their own cars.

        This is the problem with you American parents. You do everything for your kids and they just sit their on their butts on their smart phones on social media trying to get “likes” actually knowing and capable of nothing.

        • Peter B says:

          Cashboy,

          Pretty offensive generalizations. My mother used to say “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    • Sam says:

      Conventional (Dinosaur based) counterpart – Oil formulated for Diesel engines (Rotella/Delo/Delvac) with trace compounds that was taken out of gas engine oil formulation. [co$t/gov’t emission mandates]
      Not for brand new engines (or ext cold climates) due to viscosity.

      Note: According to race engine builders (i stay in contact with from a previous lifetime, though their numbers are dwindling), their #1 choice is “the green oil”.

      As always, ymmv.

  9. Sam says:

    Ex tech (20 yrs)….provided more insight than most (combined with aviation operations for 3.5 decades) ….on frequency of servicing correlates to longevity.
    ’01 S10 pu with 338k miles: original V6 engine&5pd (millennial theft proof). 21mpg/.25 qt oil loss in 3k mileage cycle.
    Cycle out all hoses every five years, w/hyd/gear and coolant fluid change every two yrs.
    Imho:
    a)use premium air/fuel/oil filter , (yes, there’s a difference)
    b)Lucas fuel additive keeps injectors/fuel system on “a” game level.
    c)DO NOT USE China sourced components, they really are substandard.

    Note: An aircraft does not care how much your worth, its only concern is what it needs to fulfill its mission(task).

    39 years Comm driver (fixed wing/rotorcraft/glider) & CFI

    • td says:

      Proper maintenance and clear documentation: very boring, few want to do them and keep them up but they are key to reliability and controlling costs, either at the individual or corporate level.

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        Sam & td-check. Gotta love a well-tended Vortec (…and STILL laughing over ‘milennial theft-proof’…).

        may we all find a better day.

  10. Have an 18yr old Silverado, 4W, long bed, I bought for 3500. When it goes to 5000 I am going to sell.

  11. RedRaider says:

    In 1997 bought a new Ford Taurus for $18k. Changed the oil religiously. Only other cost I had was gas. Now that’s cheap transportation. In 2014 I traded it in for a 2006 Buick Lucerne for $12.5k. In 2018 I had to replace the brakes for about, I think, $1200. So far that breaks down to $200/year. If I drive the Buick until its 18 years old like I did the Ford I will have owned it 10 years. Should amount to an additional $2,000 over the price for a total of $16.5k. That would be about $1,650/year vs The Ford’s $1,000/year. But I don’t feel cheated.

    The main difference between new and used is you don’t know the history of the used and the new doesn’t have one. In my case the difference seems to add up to $650/year. This doesn’t surprise me at all.

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