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Black Book Reports Drop in Used-Car Values

March 24, 2008

Gainesville, Ga. - Vehicle pricing data provider Black Book reported that the average values of used vehicles produced between 2005 and 2003 has dropped roughly 16 percent, from $17,345 to $14,441, since March 2007.

The greatest depreciation occurred in the domestic truck segment with values declining between approximately 5.24 and 8.56 percent for three-, four- and five-year-old trucks. Import trucks fared only slightly better with decreases between 2.16 and 4.27 percent, while the import car segment showed drops in value between 1.89 and 5.82 percent, according to Black Book. Vice president and managing editor Ricky Beggs said that concern over the state of the economy and rising fuel prices are to blame for the losses.

“The spring season typically signals an upswing in vehicle resale values, but continued economic troubles and high gas prices have had a sustained impact on the used car market,” Beggs said. “The market for domestic trucks was hardest hit, but luxury cars and full-sized SUVs continue to experience above-average depreciation rates as well.”

The domestic car market segment showed modest increases of 2.13 percent for four-year-old vehicles and 5.82 percent for five-year-old vehicles when compared with March 2007 values. The December 2007 to March 2008 quarter saw overall declines of 7.36 percent for all car segments and 5.89 percent for all truck segments over the previous quarter from September through December 2007.

“Although depreciation for the last segment of 2007 was quite strong, there are signs that market declines are beginning to slow,” said Beggs. “The most recent month of this past quarter showed average depreciation rates of slightly less than 2 percent for all car and truck market segments. Hopefully this will mark the beginning of a steadying in the used car market as we move into the late spring and summer.”

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