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Kelley Blue Book Reports Wholesale Market Up

February 18, 2009

Kelley Blue Book reported Feb. 17 an overall increase in recent wholesale market values, as reported in the company’s new monthly Blue Book Market Report.

The all-new monthly Blue Book Market Report will examine new- and used-car data, residual values and consumer trending. In addition, Kelley Blue Book industry experts Eric Ibara, director of residual value consulting, and Juan Flores, director of vehicle valuation, will provide commentary in the publication. The first Blue Book Market Report was distributed via e-mail on Feb. 17, and also will be posted each month to Kelley Blue Book’s Media Center at www.kbb.com/media.

Throughout January 2009, Kelley Blue Book’s vehicle valuation experts have witnessed climbing values in the truck and SUV segments. Values typically strengthen within these segments during the beginning of the year; however, the recent increase was higher than expected. A portion of the boost can be attributed to significantly depressed values experienced through mid- to late-2008 and decreasing fuel prices, both of which helped stabilize these segments. Kelley Blue Book expects a return to standard seasonal valuation behavior during the first quarter of 2009, although continued fluctuations in key factors may prevent this return to normalcy.

Performance within each of the vehicle segments was mixed. Domestic vehicles started the year with gains in the full-size and compact segments, and only a 1.4 percent decline in mid-size vehicles. This indicates returning demand for the domestic brands, which largely was absent leading up to the new year. Contrary to historical trends, import car segments were some of the worst performers in January 2009, falling between 1.5 percent and 2.7 percent for mid-size and full-size vehicles, respectively.

The Blue Book Market Report will further explore the state of the automotive industry by analyzing Kelley Blue Book Wholesale Values. The report also will discuss developments in residual values, and how the market influences these percentages in a variety of segments. Furthermore, the newsletter will include data from both Eco Watch™ and Market Watch® studies conducted by Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research. Eco Watch tracks in-market new-car shoppers’ opinions on fuel prices, alternative fuel-related technologies, environmental issues and vehicle consideration, while Market Watch measures new-car shopper behavior on kbb.com, capturing interest in specific vehicles.

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