Automotive Lease Guide has created a rating system to help consumers determine new-vehicle depreciation based on transaction prices rather than the traditional sticker-price method.
The new ratings are expressed by a star system. Five-star vehicles are projected to hold their value best; those that receive one star are worst.
Import brands dominate the highest rankings of retained value, while Big 3 vehicles are clustered in the middle and at the bottom. The company's new depreciation ratings debuted on its business-to-business Web site on Feb. 12. The new ratings soon will be available to the public at Edmunds.com.
Automotive Lease Guide of Santa Barbara, Calif., publishes the auto industry's authoritative guide on residual values. Lenders use the guide to calculate rates for consumer leases.
Automotive Lease Guide was criticized last fall when several publications noted low trade-in values of Big 3 nameplates. General Motors said the company's calculations misled customers.
GM executives suggested residual values ought to based on transaction prices, not sticker prices. Transaction prices reflect what consumers actually pay after incentives.
Automotive Lease Guide continues to publish its original ratings for the banking industry, which sets leases according to sticker prices. But the company also publishes a five-star system of residual values for consumers.