Tag Archive | "Kelley Blue Book"

KBB Launches Free App for Android


IRVINE – Kelley Blue Book has launched its free, interactive app for Android mobile devices, which provides Android users with car-buying and –selling information. Since November 15, the app has received more than 50,000 downloads and is currently among the top 10 free lifestyle applications.

Kbb.com’s app also features a widget that can be positioned on users’ home screens to track their vehicle’s value. Whether users want to track their trade-in value prior to buying a car or stay updated on their vehicle value’s performance in the marketplace, the widget provides this up-to-date information, reported F&I and Showroom. The widget can be accessed after downloading the app. Configure the widget by long-clicking on an empty space on the Android desktop, choose “Android Widgets,” and then select the kbb.com widget from the menu.

As a fun added bonus for its Winter 2010 launch, there is a winter-themed “Easter egg” within the kbb.com Android app, featuring snow and a sledding child.

“Kelley Blue Book took the Android app a step further in creating a pricing widget, giving consumers the information they need at their fingertips,” said Justin Yaros, executive vice president of product design and development for Kelley Blue Book. “The information found in the app and widget can help car buyers and sellers make more educated decisions with a better understanding of their current ride’s value and what is considered a great deal for a new vehicle. With the all-new app, kbb.com provides trusted valuation information not currently found within the Android Market.”

Users also gain access to new- and used-car Kelley Blue Book values, including MSRP, invoice, fair purchase price, certified pre-owned, suggested retail, private party and trade-in values. Wherever they may be, car buyers and sellers can use this information in vehicle transaction negotiations.

In addition, car shoppers can find a local dealer with detailed maps and directions, and view vehicle photos and new-car video reviews from the expert editors of Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com. The app for Android also features kbb.com’s Twitter feed, giving insight into the latest in automotive news and information from Kelley Blue Book.

To download the latest kbb.com app, visit http://market.android.com/details?id=com.kbb.mobile on any Android device. For more information about the app and other mobile offerings from Kelley Blue Book, visit www.kbb.com/company/mobile.

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Autotrader.com Buys Kelley Blue Book


Autotrader.com is expected to announce the $500 million-plus acquisition of venerable Kelley Blue Book Co., the best-known provider of information about the value of new and used cars, The Wall Street Journal reported .

The deal will unite two closely held companies in an effort to create the leading player for car buyers using the Internet to research purchases. The companies garner at least 13 million unique visitors each a month, according to the companies.

AutoTrader.com acts as a middleman for car sellers and buyers, aggregating sales information from auto dealers and private sellers. Sellers can also advertise vehicles on the website.

Originally known for its blue-bound guides, Kelley Blue Book now does most of its business on the Internet, where it provides new and used vehicle information, including up-to-date resale values and what buyers are paying for new vehicles.

By combining, Autotrader’s management hopes to garner more industry advertising dollars. More than 80% of car buyers shop online, but only 25% of auto-industry ad revenue is geared toward online, company officials said.

Buying Kelley Blue Book presents opportunity, and risks. Users prize the guide for its independence. To help mitigate those risks, Kelley Blue Book will operate as a subsidiary of AutoTrader.com and maintain its headquarters in Irvine, Calif. Kelley Blue Book President and CEO Paul Johnson, along with other executives, will remain at the firm.

As part of the deal, AutoTrader.com will also acquire Kelley Blue Book’s sister companies CDMdata, which provides hardware and software for the auto industry, and CDM Dealer Services, which offers inventory-management software. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Overall, Autotrader.com will continue to focus on the transaction side of auto sales, while Kelley Blue Book will be the information resource on vehicles.

“We can accelerate the ability of the Internet to be a more powerful shopping tool,” said Chip Perry, Autotrader.com president and chief executive.

The deal will make Autotrader.com’s classified listings available on the Kelley Blue Book website. A separate service that allows customers to receive offers for their used vehicles will also be made available on Kelley’s site.

Kelley Blue Book also plans to capitalize on Autotrader.com’s 900-member sales staff to help sell Kelley Blue Book products. Kelley Blue Book currently has less than 15 salespeople.

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Kelley Blue Book Is For Sale, Reports Say


Kelley Blue Book, the California-based authority on used-car values, is up for sale, according to published reports.

According to a Financial Times report cited by a New York Times blog yesterday, two unidentified bankers claim to have an inside scoop on the potential sale. One banker says JPMorgan was hired to manage the sale. The other says Kelley Blue Book is valued at between $500 million and $1 billion.

Although the first edition of the Kelley Blue Book was published in 1926, founder Les Kelley had been producing a list of automobile values since 1918.

The Kelley family sold it to Charlie Cook, a family friend, in the1960s. A Kelley family member managed it through 2000, when Paul Johnson was named president. Charlie Cook died in the 1990s.

The Blue Book, initially published for auto dealers, launched a consumer edition in 1993 and its Web site kbb.com in 1995. The Financial Times said a third banker speculated that a recent lack of traffic to the company’s Web site and a rise in capital gains taxes may have played a part in the decision to sell the privately held company.

Kelley’s top potential bidders, according to the reports, are AutoTrader.com, Kohlberg Kravitz Roberts & Co., eBay and Google.

Kelley Blue Book spokeswoman Robyn Eckard declined to comment, as did JPMorgan.

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Conservative Consumers to Challenge Dealers, F&I Departments, Says KBB


IRVINE, Calif. – Consumers are expected to remain conservative in today’s still struggling economy, with most in-market shoppers expected to spend a relatively small amount of money on their next vehicle purchase, according to a recent survey. In fact, most respondents said they are more like to buy used vs. new.

The expectations highlighted in Kelley Blue Book’s latest Market Intelligence survey also point to a challenging time for F&I departments, with more than one-third of respondents indicating that they plan to pay the entire cost of their next vehicle purchase in cash. Incentives, according to the survey, aren’t having much influence, either.

The study, which surveyed 338 in-market car shoppers on kbb.com from June 18-21, also showed that nearly three-quarter of those surveyed plan on purchasing within the next six months, with a majority of consumers (67 percent) saying they are more interested in a used vehicle than a new one (33 percent). In addition, 42 percent of used-car shoppers and 20 percent of new-car shoppers said they plan to pay the entire cost of their next vehicle in cash.

“In-market car shoppers are taking a decidedly conservative approach to car buying right now, which we think can be directly attributed to low consumer confidence in the current economy,” said James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com. “It seems people are re-assessing their financial situations and deciding to spend less, buy used and pay more often with cash.”

Most used-car shoppers (62 percent), according to the study, said they plan to spend less than $15,000 on their next vehicle purchase, while half of new-car shoppers (50 percent) said they plan to spend $25,000 or less on their next vehicle purchase.

Additionally, a majority (82 percent) of used-car shoppers and more than half (51 percent) of new-car shoppers said that incentive offers have no effect on the timing of their next vehicle purchase. In addition, 81 percent of used-car shoppers and 48 percent of new-car shoppers said that the availability of incentives have no effect on their specific vehicle choice (make/model).

And of those who intend to finance their next vehicle purchase, zero-percent financing was listed as the most appealing incentive offer at 30 percent, followed by low monthly payments at 21 percent. In addition, women were twice as likely to find low monthly payments the most appealing incentive offer when compared to men (32 percent of women vs. 16 percent of men).

“Incentives have loosened their tight grip on the American consumer, with more people deciding to purchase what they can truly afford versus what they can get with over-extended credit lines and incentive offers on the hood from manufacturers,” added Bell.

By far, the most popular loan term was 60 months, with 42 percent of respondents indicating they prefer to finance over five years. The second most popular term was 36 months at 21 percent, followed by 48 months at 20 percent. Only 11 percent preferred 72 months, and just five percent cited 24 months.

Researching before buying is also expected to pick up, with 57 percent of respondents indicating that they intend to research vehicle financing options online. Fifty percent of respondents said they plan to obtain pre-approval through a bank or credit union, while only 34 percent indicating that they plan to obtain financing at the dealership at the time of purchase.

Shoppers also cited control in negotiations as the top motivator (44 percent) behind financing through a bank or credit union, followed by low interest rate (34 percent). Shoppers, however, did acknowledge the convenience of in-dealership financing, with 54 percent of those surveyed saying it is the primary motivator behind financing at the dealership, followed by low interest rate (32 percent).

According to the survey, the average shopper has three vehicles in his or her consideration set and 83 percent of all survey respondents said they are still undecided on the make and model of their next vehicle. Younger car shoppers (age 34 and under) are more open to buying either a domestic or import brand (45 percent), compared with shoppers age 55-plus who are more likely to have decided upon either a domestic brand (39 percent) or an import brand (32 percent).

Among both new- and used-car shoppers, price and durability, reliability and quality tied at 33 percent as the top two deciding factors when considering a vehicle to purchase. The next-highest deciding factor was past experience with the brand, rated at 12 percent.

Shoppers also indicated that negotiating remains a crucial part of the car-buying process, with 62 percent indicating that they prefer negotiating to having a single set price. That number increases more among younger car buyers when examining the data demographically, as 73 percent of respondents age 34 and under feel that negotiating is a crucial part of the process, compared with 59 percent of respondents in the 35 to 54 and 55-plus age categories.

Additionally, 40 percent of respondents use the average transaction price as the starting point for vehicle negotiations, while 32 percent begin negotiating with the dealer invoice price. Only 9 percent of shoppers indicated they began negotiations with the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). In addition, most consumers (38 percent) said that if they pay the average transaction price, they feel they have gotten a good deal.

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Toyota Residuals Increases Along with Rise in Industry


IRVINE, Calif. – According to Kelley Blue Book Values data to be published in the company’s May/June Residual Value Guide, the average year-over-year change in 36-month residual values of new Toyota models is forecasted to increase by 4.2 percentage points (based on the vehicles’ MSRP).

While Toyota’s increase is below the industry average increase of 6.2 percentage points, it still outperforms a number of other brand increases. Year-over-year changes in residual values in the May/June release are largely being driven by changes within the vehicle segments.

Kelley Blue Book lowered its outlook on current used Toyota vehicle values in early February, with affected models dropping anywhere from 1-3 percent depending on the model.

In early March, Toyota began offering various incentives to bring consumers back to the brand. Toyota’s recall, lingering in the press and the introduction of these incentives raised questions about Toyota’s residual values. According to Kelley Blue Book analysts, shifts in incentive spending often impact current used-car values much more than future values otherwise known as residual values.

At this time, Kelley Blue Book’s residual analysts do not believe that the company will make zero percent financing a permanent fixture and therefore values will not be impacted greatly three or four years from now.

“Incentives offering lower interest rates have less of an impact on future values than cash incentives,” said Eric Ibara, director of residual value consulting, Kelley Blue Book. “Attractive lease payments can increase market penetration for certain models and create a larger volume of lease returns for the banks in the end. What remains to be seen is the larger volume of leases Toyota’s incentives create, as the volume is what will have a detrimental impact on future residual values.”

Toyota’s recent attractive incentive offers appear to be driving a rebound in consideration according to Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence data. Seven percent of car shoppers say they were not considering a Toyota prior to the incentive announcements, but now they are. In addition, the week-over-week percentages of consumers who say they would never consider a Toyota again, decreased (from 17 to 13 percent).

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Hyundai Brand Loyalty Replaces Toyota for No. 1 Spot


FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. – Brand loyalty for Hyundai recently surpassed that of Honda and replaced Toyota, allowing Hyundai to take the No. 1 spot among car shoppers, according to the latest Kelley Blue Book’s www.kbb.com Market Intelligence data.

Up from third place in Q4 2009, Hyundai saw the greatest increase in loyalty in February 2010, with Hyundai owners looking at new models within the brand increasing by 10.4 percentage points to 56.3 percent.

Furthermore, according to Kelley Blue Book Values data, throughout the month of February 2010 Hyundai outperformed the overall car segment average by a healthy margin. Hyundai values increased 2 percent month-over-month, relative to a 0.3 percent increase for the entire car segment.

“A large part of Hyundai’s momentum is a result of introducing passionate new products like the 2011 Sonata and 2010 Tucson,” said James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com. “To sustain this momentum, Hyundai should continue to promote its attractive new-vehicle lineup, solid warranty offer and strong price-points to new-car shoppers.”

In addition to topping brand loyalty, the all-new 2011 Sonata was named to kbb.com’s Top 10 Most-Researched New Vehicles list for the first time. In February, the Sonata was the fifth most-researched new car on kbb.com alongside ‘Top 10 Most-Researched’ mainstays such as Accord, Civic, Camry and CR-V.

“2009 marked an unprecedented year for the Hyundai brand and we are well poised to keep the momentum going in 2010,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “With impressive new vehicles like the all-new Sonata and our dedication to deliver stylish, fuel efficient and affordable vehicles, more customers are adding Hyundai models to their shopping lists.”

This Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence data analysis examined site traffic to used-car trade-in pages and new-car pricing report pages on Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com, and compared loyalty data from Q4 2009 to February 1 – 28, 2010. The Kelley Blue Book Values data within this release represents month-over-month used-vehicle depreciation percentages.

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