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Black Book report show rising wholesale prices

The latest Black Book report shows wholesale values on the rise in December after several months of decreasing value.

"Wholesale prices are up across the board for everything from ATVs and dirt bikes to cruisers and scooters," said Ricky Beggs, managing editor at Black Book. "Normally this would be expected heading into a new calendar year, but things have not been normal for quite some time."

The final quarter of 2011 saw unusually depressed pricing compared to past years, coupled with a scarcity of units at auction, Beggs added.

"The lowered volumes seen at auction are easily explained by the lowered production numbers since the economy tanked in 2008," Beggs said. "The tighter loan origination standards during the time period of the struggling economy produced fewer but better loans, therefore creating fewer repossessions to remarket today. The unusually low pricing we have seen, especially when paired with the reduced availability of inventory, reflects a continuing lack of confidence in the economy by retail consumers."

Prices for motorcycles are up a little over 2 percent on average for street bikes, cruisers, scooters and on/off road bikes. Within this overall increase, the V-twin heavy cruisers are not up by quite as much as some of the smaller displacement metric units, indicating that there are still plenty of customers out there looking to stretch a dollar and emphasizing value in their purchase decisions, the report said.

ATVs and utility vehicles are up by a combined 1.6 percent versus last month's values.

"Most of these increases in value appear to be coming from dealers starting to slowly build inventory for the spring," Beggs said. "This is a trend we usually start seeing a little earlier than has occurred this season, but it is finally underway."

Snowmobiles are once again up, with prices only rising 1.4 percent, or an average of about $40 per unit. PWC is down again, but by much smaller amounts than last month, averaging a decrease of 2.4 percent.

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