2015 end of year bargains identified as 2016s roll in

End of Summer Brings Huge Discounts to Car Shoppers as Dealers Clear 2015 Vehicles for Redesigned 2016 Models 

BY GERRY MILES

It’s not just the end of the month that spurs car sales at dealers across the land, it’s also the end of the model year that creates opportunities for buyers cashing in on a leftover model year on the lot.

Edmunds.com claims buyers should strongly look at 2015 models because dealers are urgent to make room for the new-arriving models. Buyers, as a result, can save thousands of dollars and still drive home a brand new car.

 

“Although manufacturers are poised to replace these vehicles with new-generation models, they still offer excellent value and performance,” says Edmunds.com Senior Consumer Advice Editor Philip Reed. “Shoppers looking for the best possible deal on a new car right now would be smart to consider the savings these vehicles offer before they weigh any other options.”

Edmunds counts at least 31 vehicles that are scheduled for a redesign or refresh for 2016, and are expected to deliver particularly deep discounts for outgoing models. Based on pricing trend predictions, Edmunds highlights the following five vehicles that are likely to stand above the rest:

2015 BMW 3 Series – A refreshed design of this iconic entry luxury car is coming later this year, driving down prices — and in some parts of the country, it is already selling for over $1,500 below TMV®. BMW offers customer cash rebates along with attractive lease specials. Some rebate offers may also be combined with low-interest financing from dealers.

2015 Chevrolet Volt – The long-anticipated Volt redesign will debut later this year, making the 2015 model a steal. With relatively low and stable gas prices, sales of the plug-in hybrid Volt are already lagging, so prices are low and incentives are plentiful. Edmunds Price Promise® offers are already almost $4,000 below TMV® on the 2015 Volt.

Chevy just announced this week it is delaying the launch of the 2016 Volt and perhaps because Toyota unveiled its fourth-gen Prius that is longer, wider, and has an extended driving range that it never had before.

2015 Honda Civic – A popular car for students and those on a budget, the Civic enjoys an A rating from Edmunds editors. Shoppers can find Edmunds Price Promise® offers on the outgoing Civic model ranging between $1,000 and $2,000 below TMV®.

2015 Toyota Prius – With gas prices stable, and excitement building toward the release of a new model later this year, prices on the Prius – like the Chevy Volt – have fallen as much as $3,000 below TMV®. Adding a little sweet kick to the deal: Toyota is offering 0% financing for as long as 60 months to qualified buyers.

2015 Volkswagen Passat – This handsome, refined European sedan is getting a mid-cycle refresh in the fall, pushing prices of the 2015 model over $1,000 below TMV® in some areas of the country. Customer cash incentives and 0% financing make the car a solid choice for families keeping an eye on their budget.

Some of the discounted offers on 2015 vehicles are regional, so shoppers are urged to check Edmunds Price Promise® offers and incentive information to see what is available in their area. Edmunds further advises consumers to start shopping 2015 model year vehicles as soon as possible to maximize the selection of colors and options.

An expanded list of Edmunds.com’s 2015 model year selldown recommendations can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/best-new-car-leftovers-for-2015.html.

 

Smartphone users as serious about shopping as desktop pc users: Edmunds.com

Analysis Identifies Key Differences Between Smartphone and Desktop Car Shoppers, as well as iOS vs. Android Shoppers

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Car shoppers using smartphones to access Edmunds.com’s are just as likely – if not more likely – to engage in serious shopping behaviors than those at desktop computers, laptops and tablets, according to a new analysis by the company. The conclusion is one of many takeaways from the research, which offers important insights to automotive retailers as they consider how to invest their resources to meet the crush of shoppers who are turning more to their smartphones to help them make car-buying decisions.

Even though smartphone users spend less time on Edmunds than wired users, they view as many or more pages during that time, and they’re more likely to focus their research on specific vehicles. According to the analysis, 79 percent of smartphone users on Edmunds research at least one specific vehicle model during their time on the site, surpassing even the impressive rate of about 65 percent of wired users.

Smartphone users view local inventory listings at rates more than 30 percent higher than their wired counterparts, suggesting that they are generally lower in the funnel of the car buying process.

“One of the most explicit car shopping behaviors that consumers can exhibit is viewing local inventory, and smartphone users are especially inclined to engage in this behavior,” says Edmunds.com Chief Economist Dr. Lacey Plache. “Not all mobile users are just playing: many are really serious about using their phones to assist in buying a car.”

Edmunds’ analysis also examined the shopping preferences of both iOS and Android smartphone users. According to an analysis of page views by these two groups, the most popular automotive brand on both operating systems is Toyota. But a deeper look shows stark differences between iOS and Android loyalists: Three luxury brands (BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus), for example, appear on the list of the ten most researched brands for iOS users, compared to just one luxury brand (BMW) for Android users. iOS users also skew more toward Honda (#2 on the brand list) than do Android users (#4 on the brand list).

Most Popular Brands on Edmunds.com – iOS vs Android Users

Rank     iOS                     Android

  1.  Toyota                    Toyota
  2.  Honda                    Chevrolet
  3.  Ford                       Ford
  4.  Chevrolet                Honda
  5.  BMW                      Nissan
  6.  Nissan                    Dodge
  7.  Mercedes-Benz      Mazda
  8.  Jeep                       BMW
  9.  Lexus                     Hyundai
  10.  Mazda                    Jeep

Source: Edmunds.com

Edmunds’ mobile shopper analysis reveals the following additional key findings:

Used car shoppers are especially engaged on mobile. Smartphone site visitors show a stronger preference for used vehicles than wired site visitors (with 53 percent of smartphone visitors looking up used cars vs. 38 percent of wired visitors). And among shoppers who only consider used car content on Edmunds, the share of smartphone shoppers browsing used car inventory on Edmunds is 40 percent higher than the share of wired shoppers.
Mobile shoppers are younger. According to Edmunds’ research, 55 percent of smartphone visitors are Millennials (age 18 to 34), compared to 26 percent of wired site users. And a recent Millennial Study conducted by Edmunds found that 80 percent of Millennials used their mobile devices to help them with at least one car shopping task, compared to just 46 percent of people age 35 and over.
Smartphone shoppers engage more with advertising. Smartphone users are at least 2.5 times more likely to click on ads than wired site visitors, andmobile engagement has tripled compared to last year. An analysis of post-Edmunds activity found that these mobile clickers continue to perform seriousshopping activities on the OEM or dealer sites where their ad clicks redirect them, suggesting that these engagements are not due to accidental clicks or by mistaking ads for Edmunds content.
The overall mobile audience is growing rapidly. Edmunds’ mobile site users and traffic have more than doubled since 2012.

Edmunds.com Announces 2015 Best Retained Value Awards

  • Toyota and Acura Win Brand Awards
  • 15 Car Companies Win Model Awards

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Toyota and Acura took home the top prizes in the fifth annual Edmunds.com Best Retained Value® Awards, which recognize the brands and 2015 models that have the highest projected residual values after five years based on their average “cash” True Market Value® (TMV®) price during their first five months in the market, or for vehicles introduced in November or December of 2014, through March 2015. Toyota won in the non-luxury division with a projected 52.4 percent residual value after five years, and Acura won the luxury crown with a projected five-year residual value of 46.9 percent.

In addition to these brand-level awards, Edmunds.com issued model-level awards in 24 separate segments. Toyota had four winners, the most of any brand. A full list of all 24 model winners can be found in Appendix 1 below and on Edmunds.com Best Retained Value® Awards page at http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/best-retained-value-cars.html.

“Smart car shoppers who are likely to sell their car within five years should always stop and consider projected residual values before making a new car purchase,” said Edmunds.com Consumer Advice Editor Carroll Lachnit. “Whether you are leasing or buying, the retained value of a car can make a big difference in your wallet.”

Each brand with both more than 100,000 unit sales in 2014, and models offered within at least four vehicle-type categories, was eligible for this year’s brand-level Best Retained Value® Awards. Each model year 2015 vehicle that both was launched by the end of 2014, and had unit sales in February 2015 that were at least 25 percent of the average unit sales for the models in its segment was eligible for this year’s model-level Best Retained Value® Awards. Edmunds determined each model’s category for the 2015 awards based on its body type segment; for certain categories, the size of the model within its body type segment; and for certain categories, the model’s price and/or its competitive segment.

More details on Edmunds.com’s Best Retained Value® Awards can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/best-retained-value-cars.html.

APPENDIX I

2015 Edmunds.com Best Retained Value® Awards 

Model-Level Winners

Segment Make Model Average Retained Value after Five Years
Compact Car Subaru WRX 53.2%
Compact Crossover Suv Honda CR-V 55.2%
Midsize Truck Toyota Tacoma 64.5%
Entry Luxury Car Acura ILX 48.2%
Entry Luxury SUV Acura RDX 47.8%
Entry Sports Car Dodge Challenger 56.5%
Large Car Toyota Avalon 44.8%
Large Crossover SUV GMC Acadia 44.3%
Heavy Duty Truck Ford F-350 Super Duty 58.5%
Large Traditional SUV GMC Yukon 47.7%
Large Truck Toyota Tundra 57.2%
Midrange Luxury Car Lexus GS 350 46.3%
Midrange Luxury SUV Lexus GX 460 49.9%
Midrange Sports Car Chevrolet Corvette 52.2%
Midsize Car Subaru Legacy 48.5%
Midsize Crossover SUV Toyota Highlander 54.4%
Midsize Traditional SUV Jeep Wrangler 62.4%
Minivan Honda Odyssey 49.9%
Premium Luxury Car Porsche Panamera 44.7%
Premium Luxury SUV Mercedes-Benz G-Class 52.6%
Premium Sports Car Nissan GT-R 50.6%
Subcompact Car Honda Fit 54.5%
Small Commercial Van Ford Transit Connect 47.0%
Large Commercial Van Ram Promaster Cargo Van 44.1%

It ain’t easy being green: Hybrid, electric cars traded for SUVs

Even though it was Kermit the Frog who sang “it ain’t easy being green,” it appears that eco-friendly car owners are ditching their hybrid and electric vehicles for SUVs at a higher rate than ever before, according to Edmunds.com.

Not surprisingly, financial matters seem to figure into the motives, according to  Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds.com’s Director of Industry Analysis. “For better or worse, it looks like many hybrid and EV owners are driven more by financial motives rather than a responsibility to the environment.”

The analysis offers a surprising look at how today’s gas prices are drawing hybrid and EV owners toward gas-guzzling vehicles at a much more accelerated pace than in recent years.

According to Edmunds.com, about 22 percent of people who have traded in their hybrids and EVs in 2015 bought a new SUV. The number represents a sharp increase from 18.8 percent last year, and it is nearly double the rate of 11.9 percent just three years ago. Overall, only 45 percent of this year’s hybrid and EV trade-ins have gone toward the purchase of another alternative fuel vehicle, down from just over 60 percent in 2012. Never before have loyalty rates for alt-fuel vehicles fallen below 50 percent.

“Three years ago, when gas was at near-record highs, it was a lot easier to rationalize the price premiums on alternative fuel vehicles. But with today’s gas prices as low as they are, the math just doesn’t make a very compelling case,” Caldwell said.

To underscore the point, Edmunds calculates that at the peak average national gas price of $4.67/gallon in October 2012, it would take five years to break even on the $3,770 price difference between a Toyota Camry LE Hybrid ($28,230) and a Toyota Camry LE ($24,460). At today’s national average gas price of $2.27/gallon, it would take twice as much time (10.5 years) to close the same gap.

Edmunds’ analysis comes at a time when overall sales of alternative vehicles have continued to slide. EVs and hybrids accounted for just 2.7 percent of all new car sales in the first quarter of 2015, down from 3.3 percent during that same period last year. The share of SUVs, meanwhile, has increased from 31.8 percent in Q1 2014 to 34.2 percent in Q1 2015.

Shoppers who want to learn more about hybrid and electric vehicles on today’s new and used market are encouraged to visit Edmunds.com at http://www.edmunds.com/hybrid/. Shoppers can also calculate “breakeven” times using Edmunds’ Gas Guzzler Calculator at http://www.edmunds.com/calculators/gas-guzzler.html?sv.

 

 

Edmunds.com Updates Mobile Car Shopping App with messaging

Newest App Release Gives Consumers Unprecedented Access to Dealers via Text Message

282a0a28-05ca-490e-a7a3-f77ea0385027.HRSANTA MONICA, Calif. – Car-buying platform Edmunds.com today released an update to its acclaimed mobile app with a new feature that now makes it possible for shoppers to send text messages to car dealers with just a touch of a button. The innovation is the latest step in the growing trend of consumers drawn to “place messaging,” which offers a convenient way to interact with businesses via text in the same way that they do with friends and family.

Unlike other place messaging solutions that only work in concert with apps such as Snapchat and WhatsApp, Edmunds’ texting solution uses the phone’s native texting platform. That means all smartphones are capable of messaging dealers without relying on any other apps.

“More and more shoppers are turning to text messaging for their customer service needs, but until now there wasn’t a reliable way to text directly with car dealerships,” said Edmunds.com President Seth Berkowitz. “Edmunds.com’s app seamlessly integrates text messaging to thousands of dealers nationwide, so now consumers can text a sales or service inquiry and receive a timely, customized response from a dealership representative.”

The new feature is a direct response to the 34 percent of car shoppers who told Edmunds that they would prefer text messaging with dealers instead of communicating by phone or e-mail. Users can also receive instant video and picture messages from dealerships for vehicles on the dealer’s lot.. And while other place messaging apps rely on third parties to answer questions or set appointments, Edmunds’ app connects users with a live person at the dealership. In addition, users can opt out of a conversation at any time simply by typing “STOP.”

f5d6bb5a-4ab5-4622-a838-bcb361d99602.HRText messaging is just the latest of many useful car shopping features offered by the Edmunds app. The app allows shoppers to browse and identify inventory in their area, to get upfront price guarantees on cars in stock through Edmunds Price Promise, and to crunch numbers on an easy-to-use monthly payment calculator. The app also allows users to text directly with Edmunds Live Help, a free service that provides users with real-time access to Edmunds’ roster of car buying experts who can answer any questions about the car shopping process, such as whether they’re getting a good deal or what sort of options are available on specific models. Shoppers can also connect with Live Help by calling 1-855-782-4711 or by texting ED411.

Smartphone users can download Edmunds’ free car shopping app at http://apps.edmunds.com/vxzg-1.

Edmunds.com drives sales with ‘Car Week’

BY GERRY MILES

Well there’s Fleet Week, Fashion Week and probably a week for jelly doughnuts, too.

And now there’s “Car Week”, running from today through June 15 to connect shoppers in L.A. And NY to dealers offering prices at or below Edmunds “true market value” — a price that means there’s big savings and no negotiations.

“Shopping for a car can be a stressful, time-consuming process, so we are launching Car Week to create an easier and better experience for both shoppers and dealers,” said Edmunds.com Chief Executive Officer Avi Steinlauf. “Car Week allows shoppers to learn how to make car buying easier while getting a great price on the right car, from the right dealer, with a lot less hassle. No matter what they are looking for, shoppers can save thousands on their perfect car during this week-long event.”

“Everyone who has ever been car shopping probably wishes that a smart friend had been along for the ride,” said Adam Carolla. “Or maybe you had a friend with you that wasn’t as smart as you thought. If you only had brought Edmunds.com along with you, you would have had an easier car shopping experience and you wouldn’t have had to buy anyone lunch afterward.”

Throughout Car Week, participating dealers will offer no-haggle, upfront pricing on all new car inventory through Edmunds.com’s Price Promise® program, and feature other offers to help meet the needs of their customers. Hundreds of dealers across the Los Angeles and New York markets will participate in Car Week with many also featuring extra promotions and fun/charitable events throughout the week. To find the full list of participating dealers, events and more information, visit www.Edmunds.com/CarWeek

Since Jerry Seinfeld, a noted auto maven and comic likely wasn’t available, Edmunds signed up a similar standup for the kickoff in Adam Carolla, who has helped Toyota at launches for – you guessed it – the Corolla.

“Everyone who has ever been car shopping probably wishes that a smart friend had been along for the ride,” said Adam Carolla. “Or maybe you had a friend with you that wasn’t as smart as you thought. If you only had brought Edmunds.com along with you, you would have had an easier car shopping experience and you wouldn’t have had to buy anyone lunch afterward.”

Throughout Car Week, participating dealers will offer no-haggle, upfront pricing on all new car inventory through Edmunds.com’s Price Promise® program, and feature other offers to help meet the needs of their customers. Hundreds of dealers across the Los Angeles and New York markets will participate in Car Week with many also featuring extra promotions and fun/charitable events throughout the week. To find the full list of participating dealers, events and more information, visit www.Edmunds.com/CarWeek.

Car shoppers will have the chance to get expert car advice from Carolla or another auto expert by calling Edmunds.com’s free Live Help Line at 1-855-782-4711 during Car Week from 3pm-4pm Pacific Time on June 9th. Car shoppers can also connect with Edmunds.com’s Live Help service via email at livehelp@edmunds.com or by simply by texting their questions to ED411 (8 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time) – a new service being launched in time for Car Week.

 

Retail car sales drives auto market, up 10% in August: Edmunds.com

BY GERRY MILES

Sales for August should be up some 10.9%, based upon a forecast of 1,455,911 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. this month for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 15.6 million, according to Edmunds.com. The projected sales will be a 10.9 percent increase from July 2013, and a 13.3 percent increase from August 2012.

“Car buyers are continuing their steady march into car dealerships and they’ll keep marching right through Labor Day weekend with attractive deals and promotions luring them in,” says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs.

“While retail sales are strong in August, automakers are further reducing their dependence on fleet sales. This month’s fleet percentage of total sales looks to be the lowest since at least 2007, and the result will be stronger resale values for customers buying new cars and healthier bottom lines for automakers.”

SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Sales Volume

Aug-13 Forecast

Aug-12

Jul-13

Change from Aug 2012*

Change from Jul 2013*

GM

266,868

240,520

234,071

11.0%

14.0%

Toyota

217,915

188,520

193,394

15.6%

12.7%

Ford

215,298

196,749

193,080

9.4%

11.5%

Chrysler Group

161,785

148,472

140,102

9.0%

15.5%

Honda

156,688

131,321

141,439

19.3%

10.8%

Hyundai/Kia

123,185

111,127

115,009

10.9%

7.1%

Nissan

112,849

98,515

109,041

14.5%

3.5%

VW/Audi

54,031

52,538

48,843

2.8%

10.6%

Industry

1,455,911

1,284,633

1,313,013

13.3%

10.9%

*NOTE: August 2013 had 28 selling days, August 2012 had 27 and July 2013 had 25.

Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.5 million vehicles in August, with fleet transactions accounting for 13.6 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.02 million used cars will be sold in August, for a SAAR of 36.4 million (compared to 3.17 million – or a SAAR of 35.7 million – used car sales in July).

AUTOMAKER PERFORMANCE

Edmunds.com projects that General Motors could deliver its highest single-month sales (266,868) since September 2008. GM also stands to gain the biggest piece of market share (+0.5 percentage points) of any major manufacturer from July to August.

Meanwhile, Honda’s projected 19.3% year-over-year sales increase will be the biggest gain by any major automaker in August.

MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Market Share

Aug-13 Forecast

Aug-12

Jul-13

Change from
August 2012
(Percentage pts.)

Change from
July 2013
(Percentage pts.)

GM

18.3%

18.7%

17.8%

-0.4%

0.5%

Toyota

15.0%

14.7%

14.7%

0.3%

0.2%

Ford

14.8%

15.3%

14.7%

-0.5%

0.1%

Chrysler Group

11.1%

11.6%

10.7%

-0.4%

0.4%

Honda

10.8%

10.2%

10.8%

0.5%

0.0%

Hyundai/Kia

8.5%

8.7%

8.8%

-0.2%

-0.3%

Nissan

7.8%

7.7%

8.3%

0.1%

-0.6%

VW/Audi

3.7%

4.1%

3.7%

-0.4%

0.0%

More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in Edmunds.com’s Industry Center at http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/.