The Shape(s) of Things to Come

By Tom Kontos, Chief Economist for KAR Global

This year’s unusually prolific hurricane season has forced meteorologists to use Greek letters to name storms.

Similarly, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused economists to use a multitude of shapes to describe the performance of various economic indicators.

Initially, many prognosticators described a V-shaped outcome for most metrics if the pandemic remained limited in duration and severity. As the pandemic endured and surged, however, the number of indicators that followed that pattern was limited.

One indicator that did was wholesale used vehicle prices, which dropped dramatically in March and April, then rebounded in May and surged in June, July, August and September.

That would have been difficult to predict at the outset of the pandemic when uncertainty abounded, and the remarketing industry braced itself for a glut of supply as conversion rates fell and sales were severely restricted or suspended.

Remarkably, retail auto sales were another area that rebounded quickly – especially used vehicle sales.

Read the complete article in NIADA’s Used Car Dealer magazine.

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