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Audi, Mercedes & Subaru Depreciating Slower than Overall Market, Generating High New-Car Consideration

January 11, 2010

IRVINE, CA - Kelley Blue Book, a leading provider of new and used-car information, announced recent data from the company's top-rated Web site, www.kbb.com, revealed three automotive brands that are "bucking the trend" in the recent down economy: Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Subaru. All three brands are depreciating slower in the used-car market and also generating significant consumer consideration in the new-car market, outperforming their competitors.

While the overall market for model-year 2005-2008 used vehicles is down 8.5 percent this year, Subaru has shown the best performance in 2009, increasing 1.3 percent. In addition, Audi is down only 1.9 percent, and Mercedes-Benz is down just 3.3 percent this year, both significantly better than the market average.

When looking at data from recent weeks, Q4 2009 vehicle depreciation has outpaced drops in earlier quarters.  Over the last four weeks the market has continued to slide, depreciating 5.6 percent overall. However, Subaru has come out on top once again in the past month, depreciating a scant 0.4 percent while the rest of the market has taken significantly larger hits. In addition, Mercedes-Benz and Audi continue to outperform the market, only dropping 2.7 percent and 3.6 percent in the past month, respectively.

In addition, preliminary Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence data from the Q4 2009 Brand Watch study shows that in-market new-car shoppers' consideration for Subaru in the Non-Luxury SUV/CUV segment is currently at its highest; since Q1 2009, consideration has increased five points (from 17 to 22 percent). Audi consideration in the Luxury SUV/CUV segment also is at its highest; since Q1 2009, it has increased four points (from 14 to 18 percent). Further, Mercedes-Benz consideration in the Sports Car segment has increased two points since Q1 2009 (from 15 to 17 percent).

"The fact that Audi, Mercedes and Subaru are 'bucking the trend' in a down economy is further proof that exciting and innovative vehicles are paramount to success," said James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com. "Recent redesigns and new-car introductions by all three of these brands have ignited consumer interest, and the high demand for these cars also translates to better retained value on the used-car side of the business."

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