September 18, 2009

Run on small cars turns to a walk

Values of large and small cars have gone in opposite directions in the used car market with large car values rising again, U.S. market researchers said.

It's part of a larger trend "¦ some of the weakest segments are subcompact, compact and hybrids, Alec Gutierrez, market analyst for Kelly Blue Book, said.

While most anticipated a migration to smaller cars after the price of gas rose above $4 per gallon in 2008, lower gas prices have undermined that expectation, USA Today reported Friday.

People are more price conscious than gas conscious, Steve Bussjaeger, owner of the Star SuperCenter used car lot in Glendale, Calif., told the newspaper.

With the price of unleaded gasoline at a $2.55 per gallon average Friday, we do see the big stuff moving, Bussjaeger said.

Adesa, a wholesale auction house, reported used pickup truck prices fell 18 percent August 2007 to August 2008 and rose 23 percent in the following 12 months.

Used compact car prices rose 17 percent in the 12 months to August 2008, and fell 15 percent the following year.

Everything did a flip-flop, Tom Kontos, Adesa chief economist, told the newspaper.