Edmunds Price Index (EPI) Reveals New Models Currently Selling at Widely Divergent Discounts


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Edmunds Price Index (EPI) Reveals New Models Currently Selling at Widely Divergent Discounts

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. — March 14, 2005 — Not all new car models first introduced in the 2005 model year are faring as well in others in today's competitive marketplace, according to the Edmunds Price Index released today by Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information.

Of the new introductions, Land Rover LR3, Chrysler 300 and Hyundai Tucson sold at the smallest discounts — 0.1%, 2.8% and 3.6% below sticker price, respectively. Pontiac G6, Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Cobalt had the highest average discounts: 19.9%, 14.7% and 10.4%, respectively. Overall, new models averaged a 9.0% discount from MSRP in February 2005, compared with the industry average discount of 15.0%.

Since 1995, the number of models available to consumers has soared 23%, increasing from 256 models to 316. Information on these vehicles can be found at www.insideline.com.

"Manufacturers and dealers have learned they can benefit from the buzz generated by new model introductions," explains Dr. Jane Liu, Vice President of Data Analysis for Edmunds.com. "A constant flow of appealing new models capitalizes on the trend of personalization, gives great material for advertising messages and can draw continual traffic — representing various demographics — to dealership showrooms."

A typical indication of vehicle popularity is days-to-turn, which measures how many days on average it takes to sell vehicles after they arrive at dealerships. In February, the newly introduced models averaged 36 days-to-turn, while the industry average was 64 days. Of the new introductions, Buick Terraza moved the fastest at 21 days, followed by Mercury Montego and Chrysler 300 at 24 and 25 days, respectively. Dodge Magnum has the highest days-to-turn, 62, while Pontiac G6 takes 48 days and the Hyundai Tucson takes 42 days, on average.

"Typically, high days-to-turn statistics reflect poor sales performance, and force manufacturers to offer generous incentives as a way to balance supply and demand," explains Dr. Liu. "However, in some cases, popular vehicles sit on dealership lots because its buyers prefer to place orders and wait for precisely customized vehicles rather than purchase standard versions available immediately."

This data was released with the Edmunds Price Index for new vehicles (EPI-N) (January 2002 = 100), which increased from 101.6 in January to 101.8 in February. Examining the data by market segment, luxury cars had the largest monthly increase, 1.5%, followed by compact SUVS at 1.1% and minivans at 1.0%. Compact trucks had the largest drop, 3.7% followed by large cars at 2.3% and midsize SUVs at 1.5%.

Similar in purpose to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the EPI-N measures the average changes in retail prices for new vehicles with fixed options over time in order to analyze trends. Edmunds.com also calculates and reports a wide range of data including transaction prices and net prices of vehicles by country of origin, manufacturer, make, model and vehicle segment.

About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Edmunds.com is the premier online resource for automotive information. Its comprehensive set of data, tools and services, including Edmunds.com True Market Value® pricing, is generated by Edmunds.com Information Solutions and is licensed to third parties. For example, the company supplies content for the auto sections of NYTimes.com, AOL, About.com, iVillage.com and IGN.com, provides weekly data to Automotive News and delivers monthly data reports to Wall Street analysts. Edmunds.com also publishes a high-speed, on-screen car magazine called Inside Line available free at www.insideline.com. Edmunds.com was named "best car research" site by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "most useful Web site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com StudySM and was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif. and maintains a satellite office outside Detroit.

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