In the fall, a time of model renewal for the auto industry, the savvy car shopper might want to know how much a redesign and reengineering is worth. What's the actual dollar value to the consumer of a model that has been reinvented or perhaps just modestly updated – freshened, in other words?
The value trackers at ALG have an answer. Using what ALG calls a "mix of art and science," ALG analysts are able to put a number on how much value a redesign is worth on a new model four years hence, versus the outgoing version.
"It should come as no surprise that vehicles which were changed dramatically, and had those changes well received by the majority of reviewers, retained more value in the market when they returned used," says ALG in a note to clients.
What's quite interesting is that small changes such as updates to grilles, headlamps and such, can be worth a lot to the consumer if the work done is applauded in the marketplace. And a complete overhaul might not be worth much as all if the all-new model turns out to be a complete "bomb."
ALG also found that an already very good, very popular design will not have a huge value bump even if a new design is very well received – if it's a hit. On the other hand, a car or light truck that was a dog will get a substantial boost in value if the new version is a great success.
"It is much easier to move up from the bottom to the middle of the pack than to be the leader and set the bar substantially higher," notes ALG.
What does that mean in real terms? Meet the 2015 Lincoln Navigator. It has received a fairly modest redesign, a new "face" being the notable change. Now the front end has the latest Lincoln corporate look.
ALG has developed an elaborate model for scoring the value of a freshening, of updates and whole remakes. Rather than get into it, let's just say the Navigator's update is worth $2,450 or about 3.0 per cent for a four-year-old Navigator down the road. While the Navigator earned a modest score for the modest changes, the dollar value of the jump is substantial because the Navigator is at the bottom of its group in terms of resale value.
Still, keep this in mind: "The Navigator closes the residual gap somewhat, but still ends up at the bottom of the Premium Full-size Utility competitive set," notes ALG.
Car companies have many reasons to keep their lineups fresh and up to date, not least of which is the need to stay on the consideration lists of shoppers forever in search of the "new" thing. That's one reason for all the constant changes in design and technology, year after year.
Another, notes ALG, is that models not performing particularly well in the used market deliver collateral damage to brands – they devalue their brands. So when a redesign comes along, frogs that turn into, well, not princes but stable boys can experience dramatic gains in value and owner retention, even if a particular redesign is nothing more than "average."
This may factor into your thinking if you are considering the 2014 Toyota Camry. This model has nearly $5,000 in factory and dealer discounts in play right now. However, a seriously updated Camry is on the way for 2015. If the new design is well-received, the used value of the 2015 model in four years might be higher than the 2014.
But by how much? The Camry already boasts a very good resale value, so it's unlikely this update for 2015 will have a huge dollar-value impact on the Camry's residual value. In other words, if you're factoring resale value into your buying formula, the discounted 2014 may be the better buy.
Other deals we like this week: more than $6,000 in combined factory and dealer discounts on some versions of the Mitsubishi Outlander crossover; nearly $6,000 in combined discounts on the Jeep Wrangler two-door SUV; and perhaps as much as $3,500 on the already very affordable Hyundai Accent subcompact.
Deals of the Week consulted with unhaggle.com, Car Help Canada, carcostcanada.com, and other sources on these offers. As usual, pricing information here is subject to change and dealer discounts vary, so consult your dealer for the final details, including expiry dates for all offers.
2014 Mitsubishi Outlander 4WD 4door GT
- MSRP: $35,998
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,830
- Dealer discount (estimated): $2,100
- Factory discount: $3,200 (manufacturer incentive)
- Factory discount: $1,000 (loyalty incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $31,528
- Total price with 13% HST: $35,626.64
- A $2,000 manufacturer incentive and the loyalty incentive are available with 0.0% financing for 48 or 60 months or a 3.90% lease rate for 48 months.
2014 Toyota Camry 4 door Sedan I4 Auto SE
- MSRP: $27,070
- Freight, dealer prep, fees and air conditioning tax: $1,755
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,700
- Taxable subtotal: $27,125
- Total price with 13% HST: $30,651.25
- Factory discount: $3,000
- Final price: $27,651.25
- Factory cash incentives are not available with 0.90% financing for 48, 60 or 84 months. A $500 after-tax rebate is available with a 0.90% per cent lease rate for 48 or 60 months.
2014 Jeep Wrangler 4WD 2 door Rubicon
- MSRP: $35,395
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,830
- Dealer discount (estimated): $2,200
- Factory discount: $3,500 (manufacturer incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $31,525
- Total price with 13% HST: $35,623.25
- Factory incentives are available with 3.99% financing for 48, 60 or 84 months.
2014 Hyundai Accent 5 door HB Auto GL
- MSRP: $17,549
- Freight, PDI, AC tax: $1,730
- Dealer discount (estimated): $500
- Factory discount: $3,000 (manufacturer incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $15,779
- Total price with 13% HST: $17,830.27
- A $2,250 factory cash incentive is available with 0.99% financing for 48, 60, or 84 months or a 1.99% lease rate for 48 months or 60 months.
Pricing information source: unhaggle.com and carcostcanada.com. Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Where noted, "dealer discounts" are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis. Unhaggle Savings are actual discounts received by Unhaggle customers.
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