IRVINE, Calif., March 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information, today reports that used compact-car values are on the rise and could reach the same 20 percent gains seen in 2011. According to Kelley Blue Book's Book Market Report for March 2012 (http://mediaroom.kbb.com/blue-book-market-report/), values of used fuel-efficient compacts increased a modest 0.4 percent in February; however, values picked up significant momentum during the last weeks of the month. In the last week of February, used compacts increased 1.3 percent, while hybrid cars increased a more substantial 3.6 percent.
Note: All changes reflect values of MY09-11 vehicles
"The 2010 Toyota Prius led in gains, increasing in value $1,370 through the month of February," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. "Dealers have been aggressively bidding on fuel-efficient vehicles at auction as consumer demand increases in response to rising gas prices. If the past is any indication of things to come, Kelley Blue Book could see values of used fuel-efficient vehicles increase more than 20 percent during the course of the next few months."
In 2011, fuel-efficient vehicle values reached record levels in response to gas prices approaching $4.00 per gallon, and if fuel prices continue on their current trajectory, Kelley Blue Book expects to see a similar trend this year. Values of fuel-efficient vehicles will only remain elevated as long as fuel prices remain high, so if fuel prices were to ease, expect values to return to normal levels. Kelley Blue Book advises dealers to stock up on inventory sooner rather than later, since values likely will increase sharply during the next 30 to 60 days.
The monthly Blue Book Market Report explores the state of the automotive industry by analyzing Kelley Blue Book® Auction Values. The report also discusses developments in residual values and trends in monthly used-car shopper activity on kbb.com. If you would like to subscribe to the monthly Blue Book Market Report, please e-mail [email protected].
About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. Kbb.com provides consumer pricing and information on minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader.com.