November 22, 2006

Small cars move fastest off dealer lots, says J.D. Power

Toyota Yaris
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Toronto, Ontario – Small cars such as the Fit, Aveo, Yaris and Accent moved off dealer lots in the third quarter of 2006 faster than those in any other segment, and more than twice as fast as the typical new vehicle, according to J.D. Power and Associates’ Power Information Network (PIN).

The second-fastest turn rate was luxury sports cars, including the BMW 6 Series, Lexus SC 430, and the Mercedes-Benz CL and SL; the third segment was premium compact car, including Civic, Corolla, Cobalt, Focus and Caliber. Fourth was premium luxury, including BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, followed by the small pickup segment, including Tacoma, Frontier, Colorado and Ranger.

Cash transactions are also down, PIN reports, and comprise less than one-fifth of all new-vehicle retail transactions; at the start of the year, they accounted for more than one-fourth. More customers have been opting for a loan at the dealership, or for a lease.

The trends have been most pronounced in the Calgary/Edmonton and Vancouver markets, where cash transactions have dropped by more than ten percentage points, and finance deals have risen by a similar amount. Cash deals have also dwindled in Toronto, where leasing has risen by almost six percentage points.

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