Tag Archive | "Kelley Blue Book"

Kelley Blue Book Launches Enhanced New-Car Shopping Experience

Irvine, Calif. – Kelley Blue Book launched its new car pricing tool, the Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor. It features a new range-based pricing layout and highlights differentiating aspects of local dealerships, including consumer ratings and reviews, new-car specials and inventory.

“Today the car shopping experience begins online for most consumers, with more than 50 percent of all online car buyers visiting KBB.com during their shopping process. This means Kelley Blue Book plays a critical role in helping consumers become more assured they are making the right decisions during the vehicle shopping process,” said Jared Rowe, president, Kelley Blue Book. “In an effort to provide consumers with all of the information they need to make a confident buying decision, KBB.com has enhanced the consumer’s ability to discover what represents a fair price in his or her area. Ultimately, this will create a more transparent and confident car-shopping experience.”

The Price Advisor tool displays three different pricing zones for a specific make, model and trim combinations: white, green and red. The green zone is the KBB.com New Car Fair Market Range, which reflects current market conditions for a selected vehicle with the buyer’s chosen options in his or her area. The Fair Market Range is derived from a mathematical model that leverages Kelley Blue Book’s 87-year history of pricing vehicles. KBB.com’s Fair Market Range is updated weekly and aggregates new-car transaction data within the user’s zip code, and adjusts for local market conditions and seasonal trends. The white zone represents pricing that falls below the Fair Market Range, typically under special circumstances, such as a retiring model year or an unusually competitive market. The red zone falls above the Fair Market Range, and also is considered a special circumstance, where there could be exceptionally low supply with high demand.

In addition to receiving a New Car Fair Market Range, consumers can explore local dealerships’ inventory. Shoppers benefit from an improved understanding of local dealership services and amenities, new car specials, dealership social media feeds and dealer ratings and reviews. The experience also specifies proximity to the dealership based on zip code.

“Developed specifically for the needs of the new-car shopper, KBB.com’s Price Advisor puts a spotlight on transparency starting with pricing, and moves across all aspects of the dealership,” said Scott Ehlers, vice president of product, Kelley Blue Book. “It allows the consumer to access key information from Kelley Blue Book’s trusted brand about a new car, including current pricing in the local marketplace, and now matches their search to relevant inventory for participating local franchise dealers.”

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KBB: September Auto Sales Expected to Dip Nearly 2 Percent

Irvine, Calif. — New-vehicle sales are expected to decline 1.8 percent in September to a total of 1.17 million units, according to Kelley Blue Book, provider of new- and used-car information.

“September 2013 new-vehicle sales represent the first year-over-year drop since May 2011, due to slower retail sales, two fewer sales days in the month, and this year’s Labor Day sales included in August 2013 totals,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “Despite the cool down this month, Kelley Blue Book forecasts sales will remain on track to exceed 15.6 million units in 2013 because of strong product introductions from automakers.”

This month, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to hit 1.167 million units, down 1.8 percent from September 2012 and down 22.2 percent from August 2013. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for September is estimated to be 15.7 million, up from 14.7 million in September 2012 and down from 16 million last month. Retail sales are expected to account for 85 percent in September.

Honda will continue its momentum from a strong August last month, when it posted a 27 percent gain year over year. While calendar quirks this month will limit Honda to single-digit growth, two of its three core products, the Civic and CR-V, are leading their respective segments this year. Toyota also is expected to post small gains in September with its all-new Corolla, which will challenge the Civic for the best-selling small car this year. Domestic manufacturers are expected to post volume losses for the month; however, their combined market share of 44.4 percent will be slightly higher than last month and one year ago.

Compact crossovers will see the biggest growth of any segment, as sales are up 21.7 percent so far this year, fueled by redesigns of the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester. While housing prices are starting to level out, housing construction and sales remain up, helping pickup truck sales accelerate into the fall season when sales are typically strong.

“In September 2013, Kelley Blue Book expects compact cars to surpass mid-size cars as the leading segment for the first time since June 2011,” said Tim Fleming, analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “Over the past three months, compact car sales have soared 17.8 percent on the strength of the Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai Elantra, and the introduction of the new Toyota Corolla will bolster sales even more in this segment.”

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KBB: New-Car Sales To Improve 10 Percent In June

Irvine, Calif. – New-car sales are expected to improve 6.0 percent year-over-year in June to a total of 1,363,000 units according to Kelley Blue Book (KBB). After adjusting for one fewer selling day this June, the 10.1 percent year-over-year gain will mark the strongest improvement thus far in 2013. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for June 2013 is 15.5 million, which is the highest SAAR since November 2012 at 15.5 million, and highest June SAAR since 2007 at 15.8 million.

“We’ve had a strong first half of the year with new-car sales up nearly 7 percent compared to the first half of last year,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights, KBB. “The industry continues to benefit from modest improvements in housing, unemployment and consumer confidence.”

As in May, Nissan will lead sales gains again this month and is expected to post a 14.9 percent increase, bouyed by demand for the newly redesigned Altima and Sentra. More consumers may be drawn to Nissan products since Nissan cut the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) on seven of its models in May. Ford will rely on a strong pickup truck market and plentiful incentives on its F-150 to drive a 13.4 percent gain. Meanwhile, Hyundai-Kia is expected to decline 3.6 percent, as it faces production capacity constraints and competition from newer product offerings from other manufacturers, especially in the mid-size car segment.

Honda’s all-new Accord appears well-positioned to challenge the Toyota Camry for the top spot in mid-size segment sales this month, while the Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima are not far behind. Demand remains strong for large pickups and compact utility vehicles, both of which are expected to be up nearly 20 percent.

“Compact crossovers will capture more market share than ever before at 13 percent, fueled by recent redesigns of the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4,” said Gutierrez. “Sales in the mid-size segment are expected to be relatively flat year-over-year; however, the fight for segment supremacy remains fierce.”

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KBB: Full-Size Cars in Trouble

Irvine, Calif. ─ April new-car sales were up 8.5 percent, while the seasonally adjusted annual rate dropped to 14.9 million, according to Kelley Blue Book (KBB).

Sales improved only 4.2 percent in April, which is well below the pace through the first quarter. Market share for full-size cars declined to 3.3 percent, with sales falling 10 percent from April 2012. Year to date, the full-size car segment was down 1.2 percent, which is far behind the overall industry’s 6.9 percent increase.

“In the long term, we don’t believe full-size cars will improve market share,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights, KBB. ”Instead, we expect market share to flatten out in the 3 to 4 percent range. Full-size cars don’t present a compelling value proposition for most, since mid-size sedans offer similar space and utility with greater fuel economy for less.”

Compact crossovers drove industry growth in April, with sales increasing 28.9 percent from last year. Market share for the segment grew to 12.9 percent of the industry, an all-time high.

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Kelley Blue Book Names 10 Best Green Cars of 2013

Irvine, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book named the 10 Best Green Cars of 2013 on its website, www.kbb.com.

The No. 1 green car was the 2013 Nissan Leaf. Nissan reduced the Leaf’s starting price by $6,000 for 2013, meaning that after the $7,500 federal tax savings, drivers can go all-electric for about $22,000. Rounding out the top five were the 2013 Tesla Model S, 2013 Ford Focus, 2013 Chevrolet Volt and the 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in.

“A growing number of both eco-conscious drivers are going ‘green’ when it comes to the new car they choose to drive, and auto manufacturers have primed the pump with the widest array of offerings in the green car segment than ever before,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com.

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Retail Demand for New Cars Remains Strong, Despite Economy

IRVINE, Calif. – August new-car sales will hit 1,273,000 units overall, which is an 18.7 percent increase from last year, according to Kelley Blue Book. After adjusting for one additional selling day in August, car sales are projected to improve by a conservative 14.3 percent. Although sales remain strong from a year-over-year and seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) perspective, the daily selling rate is expected to decline nearly 1,000 units per day compared to July 2012. This drop can be attributed to a seasonal decline in fleet sales taking place during the second half of this year. Retail sales volume will remain relatively flat month-over-month, outperforming seasonal expectations.

Retail demand from consumers has remained steady, despite a sluggish economic recovery. Although the economy continues to struggle, there were a handful of noteworthy positive developments in August. Consumer sentiment improved slightly, thanks to a growing belief that the housing market has bottomed, and that confidence bodes well for auto sales. Unemployment remains high at 8.3 percent and will continue to limit sales in the long term.

“Although economic jitters remain top-of-mind for many, those consumers seeking replacement vehicles continue to opt for new cars with used-car values remaining high,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights, Kelley Blue Book. “In fact, a recent survey of KBB.com shoppers conducted by Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence found that 53 percent of respondents indicated they were considering a new vehicle rather than used due to elevated used-car values. Savvy consumers are likely opting to pay an extra $20 or $30 per month to buy or lease a new car than settle for a used vehicle with 20,000 miles or more.”

From a segment perspective, Kelley Blue Book expects a jump in sales of compact, subcompact and hybrid cars as consumers seek respite from rising fuel prices. Gas prices have increased by $0.30 per gallon since early July, and as a result, Kelley Blue Book has seen an increased interest in fuel-sipping small cars both in terms of KBB.com shopper activity and retail sales volume. Mid-size car sales also remain strong at 16.8 percent market share. The Toyota Camry will continue to lead segment sales; however, the 2013 Nissan Altima could sway consumers with its segment-leading 38 mpg highway.

Toyota and Honda are expected to improve 31 and 51 percent respectively year-over-year in August from each brand’s soft sales one year ago due to inventory shortages stemming from the earthquake in Japan. The rebound of Toyota and Honda is due to more than improved inventory levels. These brands have benefitted from well-received redesigns that have caught the attention of consumers seeking reliability and fuel efficiency. Camry sales have improved 40 percent through the first seven months of the year, while the Prius has soared 93 percent. Honda has benefitted from strong sales of the redesigned Civic and CR-V, each of which currently sit atop their respective segments with gains of 33 and 34 percent respectively.

“The resurgence of Toyota and Honda is especially impressive when we consider that they have been able to regain market share without relying on fleet sales,” said Gutierrez. “Toyota outsold General Motors three out of the seven months so far in 2012 in terms of retail sales volume. Honda, while still firmly in fourth place in terms of retail sales volume in the U.S., has only trailed Ford by 10,000 units on average through much of 2012. In August, Kelley Blue Book expects Toyota and General Motors to be neck-and-neck for the retail sales crown, while Ford will likely beat Honda by a respectable 14,000 units or more.”

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