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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Japanese Brand Share: Where Are We Now?

It’s been over a year now since the devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami struck Japan, which as we all know severely altered the course of business for all Japanese automotive manufacturers. Over the course of the past year, we have watched as Japanese brands have worked to recapture lost market share, let’s take a look at share trends year-to-date, and discuss… For the purpose of this report we will focus primarily on Honda, Nissan, and Toyota brands. Looking at the mainstream segment the most earthquake affected brand was Toyota.  Toyota suffered a 3.8 point loss in mar ...

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June Used Price Update: Compact Car Depreciation Outpaces the Field

As predicted, wholesale price movement through the third week of June remained on the downward course set in May, as cumulative market prices declined by $300 or 1.7% compared to the prior month. The steep cut in gasoline prices over the past two months – which EIA puts at 50 cents from early April through the third week of June – combined with the drop-off in seasonal demand normally seen following the end of spring continues to place significant downward pressure on compact car prices, and as a result, the segment’s 3.3% fall was the biggest of any segment.  Prices for the remai ...

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First Drive: Dodge Dart

Chrysler’s astonishing comeback has been well documented and quadrupling profits in Q1 2012 compared to last year is further evidence of the company’s turnaround.  From a long-term standpoint we all know that product is the key for Chrysler to continue this momentum and the Dodge Dart offers a glimpse on what is yet to come.  I was given the opportunity to take the Dart – as well as most of the overall Dodge and Chrysler lineup - on test drives in Savannah Georgia last week to get an idea of the current lineup and the potential for vehicles farther down the road. The Dart is Chrys ...

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