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Black Book: Drop in Values, Fuel Costs Helped Boost Truck Segments

November 04, 2008

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — An analysis of the data in the Black Book Three Month Rolling Average for the period ending Oct. 31 showed some pleasant surprises for many of the vehicle segments that had been hit the hardest by the rise in fuel prices through the first eight months of the year. Of the 21 vehicle segments that Black Book tracks, the ones which depreciated the least from August through October were full-size pickups, full-size SUVs, mid-size pickups, full-size vans, and compact pickups.

“The continuing drop in the price of crude oil, and its resulting decrease in gasoline prices for the retail consumer, coupled with the earlier drastic drop in values for a few of these segments during the summer months, really helped these vehicles gain the attention of both dealers and consumers, who saw that the current value proposition had created some deals that were just too good to pass up," said Ricky Beggs, Black Book's vice president and managing editor.

The recent financial struggles and uncertainty about the economy have had an adverse effect on prestige luxury cars, luxury cars, near luxury cars, premium sporty cars, and mini-vans, the segments that depreciated the most during the past three months.

Looking only at the month of October, the strongest performing vehicle segments included several that had been hit the hardest during the summer months, including: compact pickups, full-size pickups, full-size and luxury SUVs, and full-size vans.

Considering the entire year, the top four segments in percent of retained value includes entry cars, compact cars, entry mid-size cars, and compact pickups. Not surprisingly, these are typically among the most fuel efficient segments.

Beggs continued, “It has definitely been a challenging year for the industry. Only domestic cars have depreciated at “normal” historical levels, -19.97%. Imported cars have dropped -22.68%, domestic trucks have fallen -27.11%, and imported trucks followed closely at -28.55 percent."

The analysis is based on 2006 models with the final reporting period being the values published for Oct. 31. When viewing slightly older models, such as the 2004 model year, the segment results were almost identical to the groupings and patterns of the 2006 models. The percentage changes were generally less for the 2004s, probably due to their lower values. “This indicates that price alone is not the only driving factor behind the purchasing of used vehicle inventory for the retail dealer’s lot," Beggs said.

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