kbb.com Data Reveals Three Brands 'Bucking The Trend' in Down Economy

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

Jan 04, 2010, 05:00 ET from Kelley Blue Book

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new and used car information, today announces recent data from the company's top-rated Web site, www.kbb.com, revealing 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."

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)

Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, has provided vehicle buyers and sellers with the new and used vehicle information they need to accomplish their goals with confidence. The company's top-rated Web site, www.kbb.com, provides the most up-to-date pricing and values, including the New Car Blue Book® Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. The company also reports vehicle pricing and values via products and services, including software products and the famous Blue Book® Official Guide. According to the C.A. Walker Research Solutions, Inc. - 2009 Spring Automotive Web Site Usefulness Study, kbb.com is the most useful automotive information Web site among new and used vehicle shoppers, and half of online vehicle shoppers visit kbb.com. Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com also is a W3 Gold Award winner, sanctioned by the International Academy of Visual Arts. Kbb.com is a leading provider of new car prices, car reviews and news, used car Blue Book Values, auto classifieds and car dealer locations. No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than kbb.com.

SOURCE Kelley Blue Book



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