'Peak Car' Worries Are Mounting and Used-Car Sales are a Potential 'Red Flag'

First Up 06/12/19

Hyundai Prices Palisade a Shade Below Kia Telluride
The Hyundai Palisade arrives amid strong demand for large crossovers. U.S. sales in the segment rose 11 percent last year and have advanced another 12 percent through the first five months of 2019, reports Automotive News. The base model of the all-new Hyundai Palisade large crossover starts at just $140 lower than that of its corporate cousin, the Kia Telluride. The base 2020 Palisade SE starts at $32,595, vs. $32,735 for the Telluride. The SEL trim starts at $34,545 and the top-of-line Limited trim starts at $45,745, Hyundai said in a press release. All-wheel drive adds $1,700 to each trim level. Prices include shipping. After years of reliance on a fading sedan market in the U.S., Hyundai and Kia are stepping up their crossover offerings and entering the large end of the segment. The Palisade and Telluride are arriving amid strong demand for large crossovers. U.S. sales in the segment rose 11 percent in 2018, and they're up 12 percent through the first five month of this year. Read more here. 

These Car Features Could Prevent Your Next Crash
Traffic crashes are down, and with them vehicle damage and presumably injuries, thanks to driver assistance systems that are increasingly common on new cars and trucks, reports USA Today. That’s the conclusion by a variety of experts. What nobody’s saying is that tech in today’s vehicles is already preventing accidents. New pedestrian-detection systems will address increasing pedestrian deaths. More than half owners of new cars with the systems said the features helped prevent a crash in the first 90 days they had the vehicle, according to a 2018 study by J.D. Power. “Driver assistance and safety systems will continue for the foreseeable future to be among the most important contributors to reducing crashes,” MIT researcher and autonomous-vehicle expert Bryan Reimer said. Features like blind spot alert, collision alert and autonomous emergency braking “provide the strongest near term potential to enhancing safety on our roads,” Reimer added. The features, which automakers lump under the heading of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems or ADAS, are available on everything from sub-$20,000 small cars and SUVs to six-figure luxury vehicles. Read more here. 

Volkswagen Concludes Partnership with Self-Driving Start-Up Aurora, in Talks with Ford
Volkswagen has ended its relationship with Amazon-backed self-driving start-up Aurora, CNBC has confirmed. It is now in talks with Ford and Argo AI to partner on autonomous systems. Three people familiar with the matter first told the Financial Times that after a trial run that lasted a few months, the German automaker declined to renew the 2018 contract with Aurora. A new deal to develop driverless systems with Ford and Argo AI could be reached by summer, the FT reported. “The activities under our partnership have been concluded,” a Volkswagen spokesperson told CNBC. Volkswagen previously sought to acquire Aurora following General Motors’ acquisition of Cruise and Ford’s $1 billion commitment to Argo AI. Aurora on Monday announced a partnership with Fiat Chrysler to develop self-driving vehicles for corporate clients, and works with Chinese electric vehicle maker Byton and Hyundai as well. Aurora raised more than $530 million in an Amazon-led funding round in February, valuing the company at more than $2.5 billion. Read more here.  

'Peak Car' Worries Are Mounting and Used-Car Sales are a Potential 'Red Flag'
Debt-strapped millennials. Ride-sharing apps. Self-driving technology. The list continues to grow as evidence of "peak car" mounts. Now it's time to add a shift to used-car sales to the list, according to a recent report from CFRA Research. Rising prices for new vehicles over the past few years have accelerated the change in consumer behavior, reports Business Insider. The trend is particularly pronounced among the highest-quality borrowers, whose take-up rates for used-car financing rose from a year ago, according to the report. The percentage of "prime" credit consumers financing used cars hit a record high of 62% in the first quarter of 2019. "In our view, the fact that the most qualified consumers are increasingly gravitating toward used vehicles is a potential red flag for automakers who continue to push the limits of consumer affordability," wrote Garett Nelson, the author of the report. Fears that the US auto market has already seen "peak car" sales have been a growing source of worry for the industry. Read more here.  

Here Are the Best Deals in Off-Lease Used Cars
With interest rates having risen and new-vehicle prices reaching an average of over $37,000, an increasing number of consumers are turning to the used car market. And thanks to the tidal wave of two- and three-year-old vehicles coming off lease and returning to dealerships, the selection of late-model cars in top condition has never been greater. But which are the best deals? The key lies in their resale values. Forbes reports that the experts at the auto information website iSeeCars.com looked at over 4.8 million used vehicle transactions to determine which models suffer the greatest loss in value after three years. These, in turn, would be the best deals among used cars. Forbes is featuring the 10 best used-vehicle bargains from the 2016 model year in the accompanying slideshow. Read more here. 

Beware of Auto Dealership Fraud Schemes
Laramie Sandquist of Federated Insurance joins AutoTalk on Tuesday, June 18th at 2:00pm EST to discuss how dealers are getting schemed on both cars and money, including some of the latest trends. He will offer some practical advice on how to prevent dealers from being a victim of fraud. To register, click here.

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