Thursday, November 17, 2011


Awards Revealed at Certified Pre-Owned Forum and National Remarketing Conference In Las Vegas Nov. 15

IntelliChoice, the leading provider of automotive cost of ownership and value analysis and part of the Motor Trend Automotive Group, announced today the winners of its 13th annual ranking of manufacturer Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) programs, at the Certified Pre-Owned Forum and National Remarketing Conference in Las Vegas. For the fifth straight year, Volvo earned the top ranking among Premium manufacturers, while Hyundai was ranked highest among Popular vehicle brands.

Each year, IntelliChoice issues the industry's only independent report card comparing Certified Pre-Owned programs offered to consumers through franchise dealerships. Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles (CPOs) are cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles that have come off lease or have been resold to dealers, and have been thoroughly inspected prior to sale. Car manufacturers have traditionally refined and augmented their programs based on the criteria employed by IntelliChoice in its benchmarking analysis, in an effort to compete more effectively in the marketplace for certified used cars.

"Since 2008, Hyundai had placed third overall in the Popular category, but was finally able to break into the top spot overtaking the two previous winners, MINI and Volkswagen," said Eric Anderson, senior analyst at IntelliChoice. "While Volvo was able to retain its top ranking in the Premium category, Cadillac and Porsche are not far behind."

Tyler Schulze, vice president and general manager of IntelliChoice, added, "The Certified Pre-Owned segment of the market continues to be very important to manufacturers and dealers alike, particularly due to the recent contraction in used-vehicle inventory levels. The ability for dealers to certify their best used cars and trucks under a compelling program sponsored by the manufacturer is a clear win for both the consumer and the dealer. We continue to see marginal year-over-year improvements in CPO program features across all makes, indicating that consumers can benefit from the ever-increasing competition in this market segment."


IntelliChoice originally developed its CPO analysis methodology to address the significant growth of manufacturer CPO programs in line with its stated mission to provide consumers with comprehensive automotive analysis and advice. IntelliChoice investigates and analyzes 26 manufacturer programs which are divided into two major classes: Premium and Popular. Programs are then rated on the following set of nine criteria that consumers have identified as being most valuable to their decision-making processes:

Extended Manufacturer Warranties
Title Verification
Certification Inspection Process
Roadside Assistance
Special Financing
Return/Exchange Policies
Program and Dealer Compliance
Used Cost of Ownership
Market Penetration

The 2012 Winners Include:

Overall Winner Volvo
Best Warranty Porsche
Used Cost of Ownership Lincoln
Overall Winner Hyundai
Best Warranty MINI
Used Cost of OwnershipToyota

Top 5 Premium Programs:
1. Volvo
2. Cadillac
3. Porsche
4. Lexus
5. Lincoln

Top 5 Popular Programs:
1. Hyundai
3. Toyota
4. Honda
5. Scion

About IntelliChoice

IntelliChoice, part of the Motor Trend Auto Group, is the market leader in automotive ownership cost and car values analysis. Founded in 1986, IntelliChoice is committed to empowering consumers to make better purchase decisions by providing independent and essential automotive information and tools. Through the web site consumers get the help they need to research, compare, configure and price new cars. The site also connects buyers to the buying alternatives of their choice, including vehicle manufacturers and an online car buying guide. Motor Trend Auto Group is a subsidiary of Source Interlink Media, a recognized provider of targeted media and marketing services and one of the largest publishers of magazines and online content for enthusiast audiences.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


13th Annual ALG Awards Honor Elantra in Compact Car Segment

Hyundai today announced that the 2012 Elantra has received a Residual Value Award from ALG in the Compact Car segment. ALG, the industry benchmark for residual values and depreciation data, annually recognizes automakers' outstanding achievements in producing new vehicles that are predicted to retain the highest percentage of their original price after a conventional three-year period. Awards are given in 19 vehicle categories. This year's awards are based on 2012 model year vehicles.

"The Elantra's eye-catching sporty profile and upscale interior, combined with Hyundai's increasing image of quality, earn the model its second consecutive win in the Compact Car segment," said Raj Sundaram, ALG. "High demand and minimal incentives also help it nab the top spot."

Award winners are determined through careful study of the competition in each segment, historical vehicle performance and industry trends. Vehicle quality, production levels relative to demand, and pricing and marketing strategies remain the key factors that affect ALG's residual value forecasts.

"Hyundai's Elantra stands out in the competitive compact segment, offering innovation, content, style, and 40 mpg highway standard fuel economy," said Mike O'Brien, vice president, Product and Corporate Planning, Hyundai Motor America. "Strong residual value is an important element in Hyundai's overall value equation, reducing the overall cost of ownership and allowing us to offer customers the Hyundai Assurance Trade-In Value Guarantee."

The Trade-In Value Guarantee is the newest addition to the Hyundai Assurance suite of programs. It eliminates concern about depreciation by giving Hyundai owners a guaranteed value for their vehicle in months 24 through 48 of ownership.

The 2012 Elantra sets the bar in the compact sedan category offering a "class-above" midsize car interior volume, modern design, outstanding fuel economy, and loads of comfort and convenience features, all at an attractive starting price. Elantra also delivers standard advanced safety technologies including a new Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system to optimally manage Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and the Motor-Driven electric Power Steering (MDPS).


Based in Santa Barbara, California, ALG is a leading provider of data and consulting services to the automotive industry. ALG publishes the "Automotive Lease Guide" – the standard for Residual Value projections in North America, and has been forecasting automotive residual values for over 45 years in both the U.S. and Canadian markets. ALG is a subsidiary of TrueCar, Inc.


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, 5-years of complimentary Roadside Assistance and the Hyundai Trade-in Value Guarantee.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hyundai, Kia and Ford brands see the biggest long-term gains

Toyota's perceived quality score rose more than two percent over the last six months closing the gap with leading mainstream brand Honda, and Lexus once again reigned supreme among luxury brands, according to the Fall 2011 Perceived Quality Study from ALG, an independent subsidiary of TrueCar, Inc., and the industry benchmark for residual values and depreciation data.

"The continued rally of Toyota is evidence of the brand's widespread reputation for quality and ownership loyalty. This is the third straight survey where Toyota has shown relatively strong growth. If this trend continues, the brand might soon regain the top spot from Honda in the mainstream category," states Eric Lyman, Vice President, Residual Value Solutions, ALG.

Twice a year, ALG surveys approximately 3,000-4,000 U.S. consumers to gauge perceptions of a number of mainstream and luxury automotive brands for its PQS. According to Lyman, "Consumer perception can dramatically affect a brand's reputation and sales. A strong perception can result in greater sales while a negative perception can drive a consumer away from a brand's entire lineup."

Of the 23 brands included in the Fall 2008 survey that remain in the survey today, Ford brands, Kia and Hyundai have racked up the biggest long-term gains. Hyundai led the group, moving from 18th place to 9th place, a gain of nine spots over the past three years. Ford Cars and Ford Trucks moved from 15th to 7th and 8th to 3rd place, respectively, and lastly, Kia jumped from 23rd place in 2008 (last place among those still in the survey) to 18th place.

"These three automakers have made impressive efforts to improve brand perception and we can see that it has truly paid off in the mainstream rankings. The perception of where luxury brands stand in relation to each other seems to be solidly cemented in the minds of consumers, owing to the consistency of the luxury rankings," adds Lyman.

Additional highlights from the survey include: in the luxury category, Lexus topped the charts with an overall PQS of 82.4 (out of 100) followed by Mercedes (79.8 and -3.9 percent vs. the Spring 2011 Study), BMW (78.4; -2.5 percent), Porsche (76.7; -4 percent) and Acura (76.3; -2.6 percent). New to the survey is Alfa Romeo, scheduled to reenter the US market in 2013, which came in at the bottom of the luxury rankings, but as a brand is relatively unknown among US consumers. Honda (78.9; -2.5 percent) once again led the mainstream brands and Toyota (75.3; +2.3 percent) continued to rebound from the product recalls from early last year. Ford Trucks (68.7; -3.8 percent), Subaru (68.3; -3.5 percent), and Nissan (67.6; -3.4 percent) round out the top five.

About ALG

Based in Santa Barbara, California, ALG is a leading provider of data and consulting services to the automotive industry. ALG publishes the "Automotive Lease Guide" -- the standard for residual value projections in North America, and has been forecasting automotive residual values for over 45 years in both the U.S. and Canadian markets.

About TrueCar, Inc.

TrueCar, Inc. is an innovative automotive marketplace that benefits both buyers and sellers by providing a significantly better customer experience while helping qualified dealer partners to gain incremental market share and reduce costs. As a transparent, visual publisher of new car transaction data, price reports help both dealers and consumers to agree on the parameters of a fair deal by providing an accurate, comprehensive and simple understanding of what others actually paid for the identically equipped new car over the last 30 days both locally and nationally.

TrueCar, Inc. works with a national network of over 5,000 Certified Dealers that provide up-front, no-haggle, competitive pricing to assist some of the nation's largest and most well respected membership and service organizations to meet the auto buying needs of their members and customers. These partnerships include American Express, AAA, USAA and more than 60 others. Collectively these audiences represent over 1M in-market customers each month.