After a year of new-vehicle sales in the United States, Daewoo Motor America Inc.'s used-vehicle wholesale residual prices were reported in the Black Book for the first time in November.
Wholesale residual values on Daewoos were comparable to other vehicles in their classes.
Still, the vehicles' long-term residual values are questionable, according to two services that determine and predict used-vehicle values.
The Nov. 22 edition of Black Book wholesale price guide showed that a 1999 Daewoo Leganza SE had an average wholesale residual value of 78.4 percent, under the Honda Accord DX at 82 percent and above the Toyota Camry CE at 74.3 percent. Black Book bases its valuation on prices paid by dealers for vehicles at auction, editor Ricky Beggs said.
John Schuetz, national managerof fleets and remarketing at Daewoo, said that the company has enough cars coming out of rental fleets to start remarketing used vehicles, and that the values are proof of Daewoo's quality.
Daewoo sold 28,651 new vehicles in the first 11 months of 1999; nearly 10,000 were sent to rental car fleets, Schuetz said.
'We're right with the Japanese; the only one that beat us was Honda,' Schuetz said.
But representatives of Kelley Blue Book and Automotive Lease Guide, who base their valuations on sticker price, say perceived quality is only one element that affects residuals.
Competition, America's general suspicion of Korean quality, and the company's financial woes have kept Daewoo residuals poor, they say.
For instance, Kelley Blue Book predicts that a 1999 Leganza SE with a sticker price of $15,590 will be worth $5,750, or almost 36.9 percent, after two years.
Charlie Vogelheim, editor of Kelley Blue Book, said that if the rumors about General Motors taking over Daewoo come true, 'I'm prepared to change my stance; that would have an effect on values.'
Daewoo's product line is the Leganza mid-sized sedan; Nubira compact sedan and station wagon; and Lanos compact sedan and hatchback.
The company is scheduled to debut its Korando sport-utility in the spring.
Schuetz said Daewoos stay in rental fleets six to nine months.