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Current market report: HAGI Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI), September 2013
The most valuable cars in the world include many exclusive Mercedes-Benz classics.The Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) maintained by Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI) tracks activity in the market. This document discusses the performance of the MBCI in September 2013.
The MBCI registered a downturn of 9.17 points (6.64 percent) in September 2013 compared to the previous month, closing with the index priced at 128.93. Since the beginning of 2013, the index has risen 15.47 percent, placing this year’s performance well above the annual average of 8.8 percent, as measured by HAGI over a period of more than 30 years.
The performance of the MBCI can also be measured against the overarching HAGI Top Index for rare classics of all makes. This lost 5.34 percent in September, however with a previous average of 31.47 percent for the year to date, it remains at over double the long-term annual average. Mercedes-Benz Types 300 SL Coupé and 300 SL Roadster (both W 198) feature in the HAGI Top Index.
Calculated over twelve months, the MBCI now shows growth of 17.04 percent. Looking at the wider year-on-year picture, the negative performance of the MBCI in September is largely commensurate with monthly reductions in related market segments, with the exception of HAGI P (classic Porsche), which had already begun to drop in August.
The HAGI MBCI Benchmark for Mercedes-Benz classics has established itself as the most moderate of all the individual HAGI brand indices. In part, this can be attributed to the wider breadth of models, which throws into relief the performance differences within the index between the most valuable collector’s trophy items and hand-built vehicles on the one hand and the lower-priced, classic series models on the other.
Among the Mercedes-Benz collector’s vehicles, for example, the 190 SL (W 121) contributed a light negative influence this month. A gentle market correction could also be observed in the 300 SL (W 198) segment, which resulted from the high prices at summer auctions in the USA and the prices at renowned dealers in the same period.
This was accompanied by short-term variability in the pre-war models, in the face of sustained strong interest in the market for open-bodied two-seaters, in preference to less glamorous open four-seaters or closed coupés and saloons. The sale at auction of a mixed collection of pre- and post-war Mercedes-Benz vehicles (previously seen once on the market a considerable time ago) exerted additional downward pressure on the MBCI in September
Whether this short-term development in the trend is set to continue, thereby signalling a trend reversal, will become apparent as the index figures for the months ahead are released. Technically, this could be confirmed by the index value dropping below 125. In the context of the richly textured and complex landscape that is the Mercedes-Benz Classic Index, it is observed that the upturn in performance of 15.47 percent since the start of the year in the most realistic of all HAGI indices is aligned with that of global equity markets. For comparison, the S&P Global 1200 Benchmark to the end of September 2013 held a value of 14.12 percent.
Further figures and index graphs can be downloaded from the HAGI website, in the form of the HAGI MBCI Factsheet, at (registration and login required).
History of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI)
The HAGI indices were first presented in 2009. They exist for various automotive brands and have become established in the global market as a standard for measuring the value of classic vehicles. They operate on the same principle as indices of securities, except that the asset values they refer to are for high-value classic vehicles. The Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) was presented in 2012 and initialised on 31 December 2011 with a value of 100 British pounds. It tracks the value trends of 29 classic vehicles of the brand. Of these types, 23 count amongst the most historically important classics of all time.
All HAGI indices employ a weighting based on the number of surviving vehicles, as opposed to more simplistic production volume figures. For vehicles over 30 years old, the latter figure is less informative. The MBCI aggregates over 30,000 surviving vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, with a combined capital value of over 4 billion British pounds (value in 2012, equivalent to over 4.9 billion euros). These vehicles date from a period between 1926 and 1995. The index incorporates additional parameters in order to present the most accurate possible overall picture.
History of Historic Automobile Group International
Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI), founded in 2007, is an independent investment research institute specialising in rare classic automobiles. The HAGI Top Index is published monthly on the websites of Britain’s Financial Times and Germany’s Handelsblatt. The goal is to create transparency in the market and to allow those operating in the market to make well-founded, data-oriented decisions. HAGI maintains a database comprising more than 100,000 real-life transactions. Entries start on the date of production of the vehicle and are updated daily. Data is obtained from four main sources: private contacts, brand specialists, dealers and auction results.