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· straight cash homie
23,876 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there a tiny pinpoint of light that can stir some meager hope in the heart of the compact and midsize passenger car segment? No, no there isn’t.

Even as sticker prices for these vehicles rise and as manufacturers endow them with enough technological goodies to make your mom’s car from yesterday look like a chuckwagon, retained value is dropping as fast as the segments’ market share.

Once a driving force, the segment has now become a red-headed stepchild at auction.

According to data from Kelley Blue Book, no one wants to pay more for the extra content on these vehicles and it’s dragging down the industry-wide retained value average.

The average price of all one- to three-year-old vehicles sold at auction remains static, but retained value continued its downward slide. Average retained value hit 56 percent of MSRP by the end of the quarter — a nearly four percent decrease from 2014’s average.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t hot segments stacked with vehicles that hold their values at auction. SUVs and pickups are sales leaders with high sticker prices that consumers are only too happy to pay and they top the retained value list. The best performer? The growing midsize pickup segment, which sees 2015 models retain 87 percent of their value.

Still, it’s compact and midsize passenger cars that serve as a high-volume boat anchor. Used compact cars saw a retained value decline of 9.7 percent, year to date, while midsizers declined 10.8 percent. That puts the average auction price of a one- to three-year-old compact at $9,931 and midsize cars at $11,645.

This is great news for those looking to buy a slightly used sedan. More content at no extra cost? Who can complain? Still, the value drop is indicative of the segments’ declining popularity — a market shift that was once unthinkable. Now, America’s changing buying habits are Mexico’s manufacturing gain.

Crossovers and SUVs overtook passenger cars in new vehicle sales this past summer, and the trend continued last month. Sales of compact cars dropped 1 percent and midsize cars dropped 11 percent. The worst offender among one-year-old compact vehicles? The 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer, which kept only 47 percent of its value. The midsize segment’s worst offender, the soon-to-be-dead Chrysler 200, fared even worse with a retained value of only 46 percent.

Full-size cars are in trouble, too, and subcompacts share the same affliction. Still, none of these segments can claim the lowest rung on the retained value ladder. That infamy goes to hybrids and battery electric vehicles.
Selling a Camry, Corolla or Prius won't get you as much as you would think you'd get. Better to buy than sell right now.

· Registered
5,055 Posts
I checked KBB value for our Prius... it's about exactly what I think it would get.

It's all about supply and demand. There is low demand for smaller cars / good mileage cars because the price of gas is low. There is a high supply of used smaller cars / good mileage cars because just a few years ago the prices of gas were 2-3x higher, plus government incentives to push these types of cars.

· Newbie One Kanobi
2003 Toyota ECHO!!
8,654 Posts
Not surprised by this. Its been the trend for awhile but especially now with the CUV craze. So yeah if you want a small car, now is the time! For me its hard to justify unless its a performance sub compact, to pay nearly 20k for such a car. Even if I like small cars. So I think used is the way to go with smaller cars IMO.
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