— Compact cars are holding their values better today than at any time during the previous three years. A recent Black Book
survey compared the current value retention of one, two, and three year old compact cars, against that of one, two, and three year old compact cars in 2004 and 2003 respectively. Black Book found that today’s average wholesale value for a two-year-old compact car actually rose 11 percent to $9,778 from the prior year average of $8,821, and 15 percent from that of 2003, when the average wholesale value for a two year old compact was $8,492. “There has been much speculation within the industry that today’s higher fuel prices would drive consumers to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Although there has been much anecdotal evidence that the compact segment was “hot,” this Black Book
survey is the first to specifically quantify the values that reflect the trend,” commented Ricky Beggs, vice president and managing editor of Black Book.
“It’s supply and demand 101 - the more people who want an item, the more it’s going to cost. We have auction survey personnel all over the country who are now telling us that big SUVs, which until recently was the most active market segment, are now a tough sell, while compact cars have started to attract quite a few bidders. Gas prices have continued to go through the roof, so it’s only natural that consumers are beginning to look for more fuel efficient vehicles.”