This phenomenon isn't new, by any means. It's not hard to remember back to the summer of 2008 when gas prices spiked nationwide, and all of a sudden three-cylinder Geo Metros were commanding a used car premium again. What's interesting is that many of these companies cite lack of sales of new small cars as their reason for discontinuing them.
"The vehicles that retail under $15,000, and especially those you can retail under $12,000 — there's not enough of them," said Brandon Caldwell, retail operations manager at Friendship Ford in Bristol, Tennessee, in an interview with Automotive News. "Dealers know that, so when you go to the auction to buy these cars, dealers are paying much more than they were a year ago because of the demand."
Edmunds found in its latest used car report that compact car prices were up by 3.9 percent, which isn't Earth-shattering, but it reverses a general trend for non-SUV and truck sales. By comparison, used car sale prices are up 2.2 percent across the board, again according to Edmunds but that could be attributable to a number of factors.
Will we see this trend continue? Will automakers soldier on with their planned lack of anything that's not a crossover or a truck or will they see that there is money being left on the table and go back?