So Many Cars, So Little Time: A Day at the WAPA 2013 Rally

On October 11, we attended the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) 2013 Rally in Potomac, Maryland. Area journalists, automotive analysts and brand representatives came out to look at some of the best vehicles the automotive market has to offer. WAPA and the OEMs put together an impressive event; with such a plethora of vehicles on hand from nearly every segment and limited time available, we had to be selective with which cars or trucks we chose to drive. Having never taken part in such an event, the experience for me was akin to being a kid in a candy store and I was sure to get ...

Continue Reading →

Fiat’s Sluggish Sales and Stalled Merger with Chrysler Could Spell Trouble

Italian automaker, Fiat, returned to the U.S. market in March 2011 and began sales of its small Fiat 500 hatchback. Despite a 27 year absence in the United States, the company set ambitious targets early on and predicted that its small four-passenger car would generate annual sales of 50,000 units. However, Fiat has yet to deliver on that prognostication while the patience of franchisees is tested in the face of tepid demand and a limited product portfolio. Meanwhile, much discussion continues to take place regarding Fiat S.p.A.’s product plans across the group’s brands as well as its ongoin ...

Continue Reading →

Subaru Used Retention Update: Values Remain Strong

Earlier this year we posted a blog on Subaru titled, From Rally Stage to Center Stage: Fast-Rising Subaru Holds its Future in its Hands, where we examined the recent year-over-year sales success of the brand and its growing opportunity to escape the shadows of its larger peers in the hopes of becoming a major player in the mainstream segment. In the aforementioned article it was mentioned that ten years ago Subaru fit the profile of a small automobile manufacturer with a product portfolio consisting of only four models, total yearly sales of nearly 189k units, and total market share of 1.1% ...

Continue Reading →

September Marks Highest Rate of Used Vehicle Price Decline since October 2012

The average price of used units up to eight model years in age fell by 2.6% in September, marking the highest rate of decline recorded since the 2.9% tumble in October 2012 and ending a three-month period in which depreciation averaged an uncharacteristically low rate of 1.2%, according to the most recent issue of Guidelines. While the drop high compared to the previous 10 months, it was less severe than the 2.7% average rate of depreciation recorded for the month of September from 2005 to 2012, excluding the recession years (2008 and 2009). As a result, NADA’s seasonally-adjusted used ve ...

Continue Reading →

Mercedes-Benz Dives Head First Into Uncharted Waters: 2014 CLA250 Hits the Streets

Last month, I had the opportunity to put the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 and CLA45 AMG 4-door coupes through their paces for about 200 miles around the busy streets of our nation’s capital and on to the winding back roads of Virginia’s wine country during a press drive celebrating the launch of the all-new model. The route couldn’t have been more fitting for the sport coupe and really highlighted the city, highway, and rural strengths of each unique version. For those unfamiliar with the CLA, it follows the same 4-door coupe design language as the hot-selling higher-end CLS, the only main dif ...

Continue Reading →

Despite Small Stature, Kia Soul’s Potential Is Enormous

By the time the Kia Soul made its U.S. debut in 2009, Kia Motors America, founded in 1992, had already achieved an incredible 15 consecutive years of improved sales. With the company determined to continue climbing the ranks of the most prominent automotive brands, however, the organization set out to revamp its product portfolio, which included the release of its all-new Kia Soul compact MPV. Although it has only been in production for a few years now, the urban crossover has contributed greatly to the company’s rapid ascension as an up-and-coming player in the auto industry. Making its app ...

Continue Reading →

Looking Ahead: What to Expect for Later- and Older-Model Prices

Recap on later- and older-model price shift In previous blog posts, we discussed some of the reasons impacting the price shifts across models years, with later-model prices softening more than those of their older counterparts. First, we looked at how the improving economy is impacting auto demand in general; with further analysis, we see that these economic forces – lower unemployment rates, a resurgent housing market, equity market gains and a competitive lending environment – are doing much more to increase new vehicle demand. Second, we explored the impact improved quality and dependabil ...

Continue Reading →

Credit Conditions in Perspective: A favorable credit environment is helping to fuel auto sales

Much has been made of the role pent-up demand has played in the recovery of new and used auto sales – and to a lesser extent, the strength in used vehicle prices – over the past year or so. Slightly less trumpeted has been the progressively important part credit has played in helping to grease the skids for the industry’s performance.   It’s common knowledge that both new and used vehicle prices have risen substantially over the past five years, but historically low auto finance rates have kept monthly payments essentially flat. For example, per Experian Automotive data (which I’ ...

Continue Reading →

Used Vehicle Depreciation Accelerates Into September

Declines expected to improve though month’s end. Used vehicle depreciation for units up to 8 years in age picked up through the first two weeks of September bringing the overall market average down by 2.1%, one point worse than August’s month-end figure of 1.1%. Across all segments, losses month-to-date increased compared to what was recorded in August with the exception of large SUVs and mid-size vans. Large SUVs prices have risen in September by 0.8%, a fairly substantial swing after last month’s 0.7% decline. As for mid-size vans, prices are still falling, but this month’s decline of ...

Continue Reading →

Quality + Dependability = Higher Older-Model Prices

In a recent blog post, we discussed the impact of new market forces on later-model prices to help explain the shift in pricing of used cars across model years. But it doesn’t stop there; more than just economic growth, there are other key areas that impact the price of used cars, including advancements in quality and dependability. Historically speaking, vehicles over five years of age have taken a back seat to their younger, in-warranty counterparts in terms of demand. The result? Vehicles five years of age and older comprised  a very small percentage of the available stock on a franc ...

Continue Reading →

 

    

LIVE CHAT