From the category archives: Market Analysis and Forecasts

May Mid-Month Used Price Update

Depreciation over the first half of May has been more or less consistent with the trends we’ve observed over the first four months of the year.

To date, prices this month of vehicles up to eight years in age have dropped by 2.7% relative to April. That figure equals NADA’s forecast for the entire month. While it’s certainly possible for prices to move even lower in the coming weeks, the fact depreciation slowed from well above 3% in the first week of the month to its current rate suggests May will close with prices near current levels.

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Ford Explorer to Reach New Heights with Platinum Trim

With the debut of its fifth-generation Explorer for the 2011 model year, Ford made tremendous strides improving its renowned SUV. Customers were quick to take notice as nearly 82,000 more registrations were achieved in 2011 versus the previous year (+182%). The Explorer went on to perform better each year thereafter with just under 211,000 vehicles registered last year. Ford is now number one in the segment ahead of models such as the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and GMC Acadia. However, with the reveal of the 2016 refresh at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford has shown it’s eager for even greater success over the years to come.

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Stair-Step Incentives Are Back for Ford

Ford Motor Co. has dusted off some old tricks in order to help boost sales by way of old-school stair-step incentives. So far the ploy seems to be working. Ford was able to grow sales by 6% in April, which was much better than the 3.7% loss the brand recorded in March. New product like the Mustang, Edge and F-150 certainly help, but the allure of added profits undoubtedly pushed dealers harder as well.

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New Vehicle Spiffs Rise Noticeably In April

According to Autodata, automakers elected to hold the line on incentives over the first three months of the year following a two year period of steady increases. But the year’s short-lived streak was broken last month, as manufacturers increased incentive spending by 3.2% compared to last April to an average of $2,671 per unit. The month’s moderate rise placed spending year-to-date 1% higher than it was over the period last year.

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Subaru Expands STi Lineup with Higher Performance BRZ Model

Back in the mid-2000s when the Sony PlayStation 2 was around, a strangely fascinating and critically-acclaimed video game surfaced from the Land of the Rising Sun by the name of Katamari Damacy. In the third-person puzzle-action game, the god-like King of All Cosmos accidentally removes all the stars from the sky and tasks his diminutively-sized son, the Prince, to go to Earth and help rectify the situation. Equipped with a rolling katamari – a magical ball that causes anything smaller than it to stick to it – the Prince is charged with amassing sufficient material to recreate the stars and constellations.

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Used Price Update: Wholesale Prices Begin Their Descent

After finishing the month up by 2.3% in March, wholesale prices for used vehicles up to eight years have fallen by 1.3% through the first three weeks in April. So far, April’s loss is a slight improvement over the 1.5% decline averaged for the month over the past 10 years (excluding 2011’s rise in prices caused by the Japanese tsunami).

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Buffett Looks to Expand Automotive Empire

At the 2015 NADA & J.D. Power Automotive Forum held before the New York International Auto Show, Investment mogul Warren Buffett―who seems to own a piece of everything― answered several questions before a packed hotel ballroom.

According to the business mogul, “[Automobile Dealerships] can be a good and very profitable business.” Buffett went on to suggest that over the course of the next few years there will be several more acquisitions by his company Berkshire Hathaway, but there are no plans to expand outside of the U.S. anytime soon.

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Credit Update: Times Are Good Now, But What About Tomorrow?

Credit availability and new and used vehicle sales are basically joined at the hip. After all, automaker captive finance companies were created with the mission to provide credit to consumers so more new vehicles could be bought and produced. Among many things, the Great Recession and the years since reaffirmed the lesson that as credit availability goes, so go new and used sales. Prices are also affected by access to lender cash. The incredible interest rate wave the market has been riding for the past few years combined with ever-increasing loan terms have allowed consumers to buy more richly contented vehicles with only nominal changes in monthly payments.

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Used Price Update: Wholesale Prices Spring Into Spring

After increasing by 0.8% on a prior month basis in February, wholesale prices for used vehicles up to eight years in age grew by 1.9% through the first half of March. This month’s preliminary results are right in line directionally with NADA’s forecast, although slightly higher than originally anticipated. The month’s sharp increase can be attributed toward pent-up demand stemming from February’s tepid weather-afflicted performance.

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Which Green Cars are Worth the Most Greenbacks?

Every year, the Washington Auto Show, also known as the nation’s “Public Policy Show,” holds a number of events that focus on the policies and developments influencing the direction of the automotive industry in America. As the health of the environment plays an ever more prominent role in the determining of emissions standards and related government regulations, green vehicles and technologies are becoming increasingly recognized for their positive impact on society. Consequently, the Green Car Journal holds its annual Green Car Awards program at the D.C. Auto Show to celebrate automobiles that best epitomize environmental performance.

While driving an environmentally-friendly car certainly has its merits, the question remains whether purchasing one makes for a sound financial decision. Knowing that money doesn’t grow on trees, we analyzed the second-hand market performance for the award nominees to help environmentally-conscious buyers identify the winners and losers in green car value retention.

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