New Vehicle Spotlight Ford Escape: New King of the CUV Segment?

For the October edition of our Guidelines we’re going to take a closer look at the entire ultra-competitive compact utility vehicle segment, but for this blog we’ll focus primarily on the new Ford Escape. Currently Ford’s compact CUV is at the top of this segment and from the looks of things, Ford might have the perfect recipe for segment domination moving forward. Having sold essentially the same vehicle for the past 12 years, Ford finally redesigned the Escape for the ‘13 model year. It’s no secret that this platform was long overdue for a makeover, but considering its archaic design it’s ...

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Equity Growth Promoting the Release of Demand

In this month’s edition of Guidelines we included an article on the current state of used vehicle demand, and in it we discussed how multiple signs – retail sales, price growth, and intention indicators – point to continued, albeit slowing, growth in this area. We believe that one of the factors supporting demand is the positive equity position that consumers find themselves in with their current vehicle. It’s common knowledge, at least in the industry, that used vehicle prices have been on the rise and that depreciation has slowed over the course of the past four years because of deteri ...

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Mid-Month Update: Depreciation Maintains a Slow Pace

Elevated gasoline prices continued to have a minimal impact on used vehicle prices through the first half of September as compact and mid-size car prices declined more than their larger truck counterparts. Market level depreciation through over the first half of the month checked in at just 1.5% and overall prices continue to be abnormally resilient considering the steeper rates of loss normally witnessed over the period.  Historically the rate of value loss picks up through the fall, but so far that has not been the case.  By comparison, depreciation in July and August reached 2 ...

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Luxury Brand Performance: BMW New Vehicle Sales Fall Off 19%

August proved to be a disappointing month for BMW as total new sales fell off by 19% year-over-year. Looking at the luxury brand performance table below shows that BMW was the only luxury brand that failed to report a gain last month. Total sales for the brand failed to break the 17k unit mark, which was over 7k units less than last month’s top selling luxury maker Lexus, and nearly 6k units less than second place German rival Mercedes-Benz. This is the first time that Lexus has been able to surpass both of its German competitors in terms of monthly sales since December ’10. What exactly ...

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New Vehicle Spotlight: 2013 Ford Fusion

Some things seem to get better with age – wine, jeans…and the Ford Fusion sedan?  Clearly not the image typically conjured with the phrase and potentially a misnomer too since older versions of the model aren’t performing in any extraordinary fashion in either the new or used vehicle markets, but Ford has so upped the ante with its latest iteration of the Fusion that somehow the quote seems fitting. As Ford Motor Company is planning to launch its newest iteration of their bread and butter mid-size sedan late this month lets first take a quick look back on the previous generation’s ...

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Mid-Month Update: Higher Gasoline Prices Stir Little Change

Gasoline prices have jumped again over the past month-and-a-half, which means that used car and truck prices should have expanded and contracted like we’ve seen during previous fuel spikes.    Only this time around, things haven’t remained true to past form.  In fact, the recent 38 cent spike in the price of regular grade gasoline has done little to change the course that segment prices have been following since April. More specifically, over the past three months the 3.0% average rate of loss for compact and mid-size cars has led all others segments by a wide margin, ...

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New Vehicle Spotlight: 2013 Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S

This past May marked the beginning of a new unique joint venture between Subaru and Toyota as the BRZ and FR-S (launched under the Scion brand) no-frills sports coupes went on sale here in the United States. For those of you unfamiliar with these models, the formula is brilliant and yet simple at the same time. Two door coupe, 2+2 seating, rear-wheel drive, 2.0-liter boxer four cylinder producing 200 horsepower, all starting for under $24,500. Subaru offers the BRZ in two flavors: Premium, which has a base MSRP of $24,495 and Limited which starts at $27,495. Automatic transmission is availa ...

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Gas Prices Jump 24 Cents in Two Weeks – Used Price Reaction?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, don’t drive an automobile, or have been so fixated on the Summer Olympics that you haven’t had time to absorb the news, you’ve probably noticed that gasoline prices have spiked dramatically over the past two weeks. There are numerous events that have been directing things behind the scenes here: First, positively viewed comments made by European leaders and the president of the European Central Bank were taken as a sign that the Eurozone crisis might not be as severe as originally thought.  This in turn would translate into stronger than antic ...

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2012 Model Year Used Value Spotlight: Compact Luxury Sedans

For this installment of our 2012 Model Year Used Value Spotlight we will take a look at a few sedans from the competitive compact luxury sedan segment, the Acura TL, Audi A4, BMW 328i, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G37, Lexus IS250, and Mercedes-Benz C250.  For this comparison we are using a typically equipped MSRP which will include automatic transmission and leather seats, if not already standard.  The typically equipped MSRP does not include manufacturer destination charges or any incentives/rebates.  The table below highlights the typically equipped MSRP for each sedan along wi ...

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Rental Fleet Retention Special: 2012 Chevrolet Captiva Sport

Late last year GM initiated a unique experiment by launching the Chevrolet Captiva Sport which is a rebadged version of its now extinct second-generation Saturn Vue compact crossover utility model intended only for commercial customers.  GM’s motives behind the move were twofold; they hoped to satisfy growing rental demand for the efficient and versatile compact CUV segment, while at the same time preserving the used value retention of the popular Equinox. In the past, manufacturers have produced fleet only trims of within a model lineup, but never has a manufacturer spun off a model ...

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