New car sales in May remain high due to continued increases of manufacturers’ rebates, Automotive News reports. Analysts expect a 4 percent boost in seasonally adjusted sales to about 17 million. Sales of certified used vehicles were 2.8 percent lower in April than a year ago. However, used-vehicle sales for the first four months of 2004 outpaced sales in the same period in 2003 by 5.6 percent, according to a report by ADESA Analytical Services. Despite the downturn in April in used-vehicle retail prices, wholesale prices increased 3.3 percent over last year’s April figures. Last month’s average wholesale price was $9,339 compared to $9,037 for April 2003, according to ADESA. Decreasing supply is a factor in the wholesale price increase. Fewer off-lease vehicles are now available for sale, Manheim’s chief economist Tom Webb told Automotive News. Toyota’s volume of 3-year-old off-lease vehicles is down by 50 percent from last year, a Toyota sales operations manager told Automotive News. Click here to view ADESA’s Used Vehicle Price Chart for April.
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