The financial crisis of 2008 had an unexpected effect — there was a great deal of demand for used cars, simply because people were out of jobs and couldn’t afford to buy new when they needed transportation. With others hanging on to their cars for longer, it was slim pickings at the used car lots. Prices rose, and at one point, used Priuses were priced the same as two-year-old models, simply because unlike new cars, the old ones were available on demand.
Demand tends to rise and fall in response to different market trends. Over the last two years, there have been 5 million used cars flooding the market. Coming off their leases, these are two or three years old, in top shape, and priced competitively. There were 2.5 million such used cars sold last year. According to the NADA Guide on used cars, there hasn’t been such demand since 2003.
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There’s a different kind of trend at work
The current used car surge chiefly deals with newish vehicles. There’s another surge playing out now has gone unnoticed — one involving older vehicles. Modern cars are so well-made, they do not need to be replaced as often as before. They simply need a few parts sometimes. In regions of the country that carry a particularly deep tradition in automotive manufacture, availability tends to be easy.
Hebron, KY, and the used car market
The city of Hebron, KY has a long association with the auto industry, being home to major automotive manufacturing centers such as Toyota North America, Gates, zF and 3M. As the third largest manufacturer of auto parts in the country, Kentucky also has a long association with used cars. In particular, operations such as Besslers U Pull and Save have made the area a regional center.
Stocking thousands of unserviceable cars, these centers present a bottomless mine of reliable used auto parts available for mere tens of dollars. To anyone who wishes to run a car for as long as it is able to efficiently operate, these parts centers are invaluable. Customers merely visit, find the right model, disassemble it, and take out the part that they need.
The availability of the service has made used cars far more viable, for far longer. The trend is made the Midwest an unlikely symbol of the used car trend and of environmental responsibility. The longer cars are run, the better it is for the environment.