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New Studies List Honda, Toyota and Audi as Best Brands for Holding Resale Value

by on Nov.18, 2013

Toyota's FJ Cruiser led KBB's list.

While a pair of new studies don’t always agree on the fine points, they do find that Honda and Toyota are generally the best brands for holding their resale values after several years in service.

Import brands, on the whole, dominated the two studies by ALG – formerly known as the Automotive Lease Guide – and KelleyBlueBook.com.

Resale values are a significant factor that many motorists have learned to take into consideration when shopping for a new vehicle because, in some cases, that can make a more expensive price tag up front prove to be a bargain, longer-term, when it comes time to trade in.

Always Valuable!

“Toyota, Audi and Honda captured the most segment honors due to the consistent high value of all their products,” said Larry Dominique, President of ALG. “Honda was named top Mainstream Brand due to their prudent use of (sales) incentives – $1,000 lower than the mainstream average – and low rental fleet penetration.”

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Owners Waiting Longer than Ever to Trade In

10 years, 150,000 miles the new norm?

by on Jul.30, 2012

Drive it til it drops?

American motorists are waiting longer than ever to trade in their cars, trucks and crossovers – with 10 years and 150,000 miles becoming the new norm, rather than the exception, according to a pair of new reports.

In the golden era of planned obsolescence, it became common for American new car buyers to trade in as often as every two to three years.  Perhaps that was no surprise in an era when quality and reliability were secondary to styling and automotive one-upsmanship.  But as quality and reliability become essential requirements for automakers consumers can be comfortable a car will last longer – something that has become a requirement as prices rise and the economy falters, analysts suggest.

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Nearly eight in 10 owners will now hold their vehicle for a decade or longer before trading in, according to a survey by AutoMD.com, while a Black Book survey finds that the majority of owners will not trade in until their vehicles have at least 125,00 to 150,000 miles on the odometer – with 200,000-mile trade-ins being anything but rare these days.

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New Car Prices Hit All-Time Record

Torrid pace not likely to slow much anytime soon.

by on Apr.10, 2012

Strong demand for the Elantra has helped drive up the price of the typical Hyundai product this year.

Remember “sticker shock”?  After several years of heavily discounting their products in a desperate bid to keep assembly lines rolling, automakers are finding themselves back in the driver’s seat once again – pushing prices to record levels.

And it’s “not a blip,” warns one senior analyst, who expects the trend to continue for several years. The good news for shoppers is that trade-ins are also yielding better prices – and while that new car, truck or crossover may command more money than ever before it’s also likely to include significantly more features and markedly better fuel economy than the vehicle it replaces.

The average new vehicle sold in the U.S. in March cost $30,748, according to data tracking service TrueCar.com.  That was up from $28,771 a year earlier and marks an all-time record.

In the Know!

“It’s not a blip. It’s a trend we’ve been seeing for months,” said Jesse Toprak, TrueCar’s chief automotive analyst.  That’s despite the fact, he says, that “This might seem counter-intuitive at a time you might expect to see people buying cheaper cars because fuel costs are rising so fast.”

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Now What? Industry Needs to Keep Clunkers Momentum Going

Dealers frantic to get claims in before CARS wraps up.

by on Aug.25, 2009

It's all over but the payback.  While dealers wait for their money from the government, industry analysts try to figure what impact the CARS program will have on sales during the months to come.

It's all over but the payback. While dealers wait for their money from the government, industry analysts try to figure what impact the CARS program will have on sales during the months to come.

By noon today, U.S. auto retailers will have to submit the final paperwork for their last Cash-for-Clunkers deals or forfeit the refunds they expect from the federal government.

The Cash Allowance Rebate System, or CARS, as it’s more formally known, has come to a close, barely one month and $3 billion after it began. As of midday Monday, dealers had already submitted claims covering 625,000 vehicles, which would generate at least $2.6 billion in voucher payments for dealers.

Your Inside Source!

Your Inside Source!

A sizable number of claims have yet to be submitted, however, and dealers were working frantically into the night trying to get the last paperwork completed, despite the decision to extend the deadline until midday Wednesday. In fact, that extension was largely due to the repeated crashes of the government’s own computer system, on Monday.

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Call an End to Clunkers, Dealers Demand

With $3 billion already gone, stop says trade group; DOT Secretary LaHood promises "They'll get their money."

by on Aug.19, 2009

The Cash-for-Clunkers program may have been too successful for its own good, and now dealers want it halted immediately.

The Cash-for-Clunkers program may have been too successful for its own good, and now dealers want it halted immediately.

That didn’t last long.

Despite an infusion of an additional $2 billion in federal funds, on top of the original $1 billion approved by Congress, it appears the unexpectedly popular Cash-for-Clunkers program has again run out of money, says an auto dealer trade group.  As a result, the National Automobile Dealers Association is asking that Washington halt the program immediately.

NADA fears that dealers could wind up being stuck for Clunkers cash they’ve fronted for the program if it turns out more than the total $3 billion has been spent.  Officials from the Department of Transportation have acknowledged they are hugely behind in processing applications for reimbursement by dealers and have so far paid out only around $100 million, leaving many auto retailers strapped for cash.

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Cash for Clunkers Working – But at a Price

Carbon dioxide emissions are down as buyers dump guzzlers.

by on Aug.19, 2009

There are plenty of scammers and a few unscrupulous dealers hoping to take advantage of the Cash-for-Clunkers program - at your expense.

As to the longer-term impact, the big question is whether Clunkers will steal future sales. There is a definite pull-ahead of sales, according to CNW data.

The Cash-for-Clunkers program has proven an unexpected success, surprising critics and proponents alike.  But the program has had some unexpected results, so far, while also achieving some of its original goals, says a new survey by CNW Marketing.

It took barely a week for the program, officially known as the Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS, to burn through the initially-allocated $1 billion, and a second tranche, worth $2 billion in federal funds, is expected to be gone well before the program was originally expected to expire, in November.

That should pull about 750,000 old clunkers off the road.  And, in turn, “It would appear greenhouse gas emissions were cut by more than 90%,” since motorists switched to more fuel-efficient vehicles, said Art Spinella, chief analyst with Oregon-based CNW.

No Trade-in Needed!

No Trade-in Needed!

But that’s assuming the new vehicles would be driven the same amount as the clunkers they replaced, added Spinella, but his survey of C4C buyers shows that, “these new cars and trucks will likely be driven significantly more miles than the clunker, according to owners, and could use nearly 14.6 million gallons of gasoline more than the vehicles they replaced.”

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Senate Approves Another $2 bil for Clunkers

Dealers already overloaded by demand.

by on Aug.07, 2009

Dealers will be able to continue take up to 500,000 more trade-ins, now that the Senate has approved another $2 billion for the Cash-for-Clunkers program.

Dealers will be able to continue take up to 500,000 more trade-ins, now that the Senate has approved another $2 billion in Cash-for-Clunkers.

The Senate has approved another $2 billion to replenish the unexpectedly popular Cash-for-Clunkers auto incentive program, which has helped spur strong demand in an otherwise moribund American auto market.

The vote, late Thursday, mirrored action taken by the U.S. House of Representatives, a week ago, and with President Barack Obama’s signature, it means there will be enough money to keep the program, officially known as the Car Allowance Rebate System, going through Labor Day.

Cash in with a FREE subscription!

Cash in with a FREE subscription!

“Now more American consumers will have the chance to purchase newer, more fuel-efficient cars and the American economy will continue to get a much-needed boost,” the president said, following the Senate vote.

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“Clunkers” Extension DoA?

Senate reluctant to approve additional $2 billion, despite clear signs the rebate program is spurring U.S. auto market.

by on Aug.04, 2009

Without a fresh infusion of government cash, the Clunkers program will have to shut down by this weekend.

Without a fresh infusion of government cash, the Clunkers program will soon shut down.

Despite clear signs of success, the U.S. Senate seems reluctant to approve an extension of the so-called Cash-for-Clunkers bill.

The House authorized a $2 billion extension to the original, $1 billion fund, formally known as the Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS, and the Obama Administration has joined those lobbying for approval by the other side of Capitol Hill.

There would be a significant irony should the Senate reject the proposal, as many observers are now calling CARS the most immediately effective stimulus program to emerge from Washington since the nation fell into the current, deep recession.  Not only has the program spurred hundreds of thousands of motorists to buy a new vehicle, but it appears they are purchasing even more fuel-efficient models than Clunkers proponents had anticipated.

Stay on top of the new!

Stay on top of the new!

Describing CARS as “inept and poorly run,” South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint signaled he is unlikely to support the requested $2 billion infusion, though his Carolinian colleague, Lindsay Graham, also of the GOP, told the Today Show, “I think the Senate will act this week and get some of the clunkers off the road.”

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Clunkers Reportedly Drove Strong July Sales

But dealers on hold waiting for Senate to OK more cash.

by on Aug.03, 2009

Ford expects to report a jump in July sales, its first since November 2007, in part due to demand for vehicles like the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, shown during its unveiling, at the L.A. Auto Show

Ford expects to report a jump in July sales, its first since November 2007, in part due to demand for vehicles like the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, shown during its unveiling, at the L.A. Auto Show

With several automakers, including Ford and Subaru signaling they will report strong sales gains for July, industry analysts are largely declaring the Cash-for-Clunkers program a success, at least for the short-term.  But dealers around the country are approaching the panic level as they wait to see if the U.S. Senate will approve a $2 billion cash infusion to keep the program going.

Originally expected to post a modest 4% year-over-year sales decline, Ford’s chief analyst George Pipas hinted that July sales will, in fact, bring the automaker its first monthly increase since November 2007.  Subaru also signaled it would see a July sales increase, though like Ford, it won’t release formal figures until later in the day.

Don't Wait for Frankfurt!

Don't Wait for Frankfurt!

The website, Edmunds.com, is projecting an overall 16% decline for the month, compared with July 2008 – compared with a year-to-date plunge of 35% — but Edmunds also predicted a decline for Ford, so its forecast could prove conservative.  And, even so, the dealer referral site is projecting that the industry’s July 2009 figures will be up 11% compared to June of this year.

Whatever the actual figures for July, most analysts are crediting the so-called Cash-for-Clunkers program for the industry’s newfound momentum.  The measure, formally known as the Cash Allowance Rebate System, provides up to $4500 in vouchers to those trading in an old, low-mileage vehicle for a new, more fuel-efficient model.

Congress set aside $1 billion to fund the program, but by last Friday, barely a week after it had officially gone into effect, there were indications the pot had already run dry, leaving dealers across the country trying to figure out how to proceed as potential customers flooded their showrooms.

On Friday, with the backing of the White House, the U.S. House of Representatives approved another $2 billion for Clunkers – still leaving the combined total $1 billion short of the $4 billion sponsors originally asked for.  But the new funds would triple, to around 750,000, the number of vehicles CARS could handle.

It’s unclear if and when the Senate would act on the funding request, but it could happen this week.  While House has already packed up for the annual August recess, the Senate remains in session to handle the planned vote on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. But there is less support on that side of Capitol Hill, so the outcome remains uncertain.

Hoping to ensure they don’t lose potential sales, many U.S. dealers are proceeding as if the extension of the CARS bill will happen.  But some have also begun requiring customers to sign waivers that would force them to return the $4,500 should the Senate vote down the additional $2 billion request.

House Approves Another $2 Billion in Clunkers Cash

Buyers drain initial $1 billion in less than a week.

by on Jul.31, 2009

As many as a quarter million Clunkers could be crushed under the CARS program - even more if the Senate signs on to a $2 billion expansion of the Cash-for-Clunkers program.

As many as a quarter million Clunkers could be crushed under the CARS program - even more if the Senate signs on to a $2 billion expansion of the Cash-for-Clunkers program.

If there’s a chance it’s broke, fix it.  That seems to be the preemptive mantra of federal lawmakers, responding to word that the Cash-for-Clunkers program is ready to run out of gas, or, more accurately, cash.

The program, conceived as a way to kick-start the sluggish American automotive market, was passed by Congress, in June, though it only formally went into operation a week ago.  Officially known as CARS, for Cash Allowance Rebate System, it provided vouchers worth up to $4,500 for those trading in old vehicles for newer, more fuel-efficient models.

Originally intended to run through November, and to help promote the sale of around 250,000 high-mileage models, there are preliminary indications the Clunkers program is far exceeding even the most optimistic expectations.  Already, the CARS fund has issued vouchers to about 96,000 motorists, but with overloaded dealers struggling to fill in the paperwork, observers now believe that the $1 billion set aside by Congress may already have been exceeded.

High-mileage insight!

High-mileage insight!

“My showroom is packed,” said dealer Earl Stewart, of Earl Stewart Toyota, in Riviera Beach, Florida.  He added he is “really concerned” that he may not be able to complete sales with 61 new customers if, in fact, CARS has run out of cash.

Dealer Stewart isn’t the only one worrying.  In a Friday afternoon meeting with reporters, Pres. Barack Obama noted that the Clunkers program has “succeeded well beyond our expectations and all expectations,” but warned that there “legitimate concerns funding in this program may soon go out.”

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