By Jon LeSage, Editor, Used Car Market Reports
- CPO awards: Kia took the Best Popular Program Award and Jaguar won the top spot in Best Premium Program Award at the 17th annual IntelliChoice Certified Pre-Owned Car Awards. “Jaguar and Kia both edged out Volvo and Hyundai for the best programs by having better special financing offers over the last year,” said IntelliChoice’s Eric Anderson. Audi, Ford, Honda, and GMC were all recognized with awards in key vehicle categories during Vincentric’s CPO awards. Both award shows took place at Used Car Week in Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Sales forecast: “New light-vehicle sales will rise to 17.71 million units in 2016, a 2.3% increase from our forecast of 17.3 million sales in 2015. This would mark the seventh straight year of increasing U.S. new-vehicle sales,” said Steven Szakaly, chief economist at NADA. Moderate wage growth, declining gasoline prices, and continued low interest rates on auto loans will drive sales up next year, he said. Szakaly thinks that without heavy automaker incentives, new-vehicle sales will reach a peak in 2016.
- Used car vending machine: Online car seller Carvana has constructed a five-story, glass-encased, vending machine next to Interstate 65 near Nashville filled with used cars ready for pickup. Car buyers acquired them on Carvana’s site; the vending machine-style parking lot was assembled when Carvana found that consumers do actually want to experience of going there and picking up their car. Carvana is also saving money on delivery costs for used vehicle sales.
- New third-party site: J.D. Power and Associates has joined the world or third-party auto sites by launching a new vehicle ratings and research site. Site features include: quality ratings, performance and design ratings, dependability and reliability ratings, pricing with MSRP and invoice, fuel economy and vehicle specs; and robust search tools for new, used, and CPO vehicles in local dealer inventory.
- SUV sales growth: Ford thinks that SUVs will make up 20% of new vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2020. That will come from Baby Boomers emptying their nests and their grown Millennial offspring starting their own families. Other market drivers would be low gasoline prices, cheap car loans, and the ability to carry large loads of passengers and cargo. Ford’s definition of SUVs will be broad with the compact SUV Ford Escape a big part of the automaker’s marketing drive and forecast. Autodata includes SUVs and sport wagons in its sales numbers, and crossovers like the Toyota RAV4 are usually included in sales analysis figures by automakers and analysts when look at the SUV market.