The Black Book Three Month Rolling Average market trend report, which tracks the values of two-year-old (2006 MY) vehicles, indicates that for the most recent quarter, Jun. 1, 2008 through August 31, 2008, the vehicle segments with the highest percentage of retained value were entry-level cars, compact cars, and mid-size cars.

However, during the month of August, full-size pickup trucks moved into third place, just behind entry-level and compact cars.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, vehicle segments that performed the worst during the previous quarter were full-size SUVs, luxury SUVs, and mid-size SUVs, which continued to lead the way of larger drops in value with an average depreciation of -12.6 percent. Looking solely at August, the vehicle segments with the greatest monthly depreciation were prestige luxury cars, -5.1 percent, luxury SUVs -4.7 percent, and mid-size SUVs -3.2 percent.

Ricky Beggs, Black Book  vice president and managing editor, said, "We had witnessed a significant overreaction due to panic selling in some vehicle segments during the summer months, and we are now seeing signs of a much needed recorrection occurring in both full-size SUVs and full-size pickups. The more economical cars, which have increased in value significantly over the past three to four months, are now behaving more realistically, and have backed off a bit from their performance during the previous months. Now that gas prices have decreased almost 50 cents per gallon, with many areas reporting prices in the $3.30 range, has our memory of $4 gas faded so quickly, or have consumers realized they need the utility of the larger vehicles that they had been shying away from due to the higher gas prices?"

Comparing the quarterly change for the period ending Aug. 31 versus the period ending Jul. 31, the depreciation levels are fairly consistent with the exception of the improvement in domestic trucks values.

Quarter ending July 31 Quarter ending August 31 Domestic cars -4.18% -4.25% Domestic Trucks -14.39% -10.96 Import Cars -4.2% -5.03% Import Trucks -12.41% -12.76%