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Used-Car Prices Bounce Back After Giving U.S. Industry a Scare

A car dealer walks past cars for sale at a used car dealership in Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S, on May 20.

A car dealer walks past cars for sale at a used car dealership in Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S, on May 20.

Photographer: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg

Used-vehicle prices are bouncing back from last month’s lows and approaching J.D. Power’s pre-pandemic forecasts, a welcome development for ailing automakers and rental-car companies.

J.D. Power’s weekly wholesale auction price index is now down just 1.9% from where the market researcher expected prior to the coronavirus. Prices have recovered after plunging as much as 16% below the forecast for the week that ended April 19.