Edmunds.com Now Offering Crystal Ball On Vehicle Prices

dude with crystal ballAutomotive Web sites focus on the present, offering current inventory, pricing and deals for shoppers who are researching and weighing their options. Consumer shopping site Edmunds.com is trying something different.

The company is launching a new program, Predictive True Market Value Alerts, which gazes into a 30-day crystal ball to tell consumers where pricing for cars, trucks and SUV models is headed so consumers can use timing to their advantage.

The program bases the results on vehicle inventory level history, how long it has taken that vehicle model to leave dealer lots, the vehicle model's consideration history on Edmunds.com, incentive and market value prices, transaction prices brand pricing and incentive patterns.

Also factored in are economic indicators, and the competitive landscape for whatever vehicle a consumer is searching for.

"This came up, this new product, because consumers always asked not only what, but when, should I buy," says Jessica Caldwell, manager of pricing and market analysis for Edmunds.com. "It comes into play with manufacturer incentives, which can change regionally several times per month. The same is true for finance, lease and cash deals."

"It's a terrible feeling to buy a product and then see it on sale afterward," said consumer advice editor Philip Reed, in a release.

Caldwell says the product will probably not be relevant to people who are in the research phase of shopping. "It's really targeted to people ready to buy, so it clearly doesn't affect everyone." Still, she says it will influence people who are trying to decide between two or three vehicles, or who are on the fence. "If people are presented [with trends on pricing, deals and incentives], they are likely to take an action rather than wait."

She says prices of the Dodge Caliber, Ford Taurus X and GMC Yukon are currently on the rise, while Chevrolet Cobalt, Equinox, Dodge Durango and Volvo V70 are heading down.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company publishes--in addition to Edmunds.com--an auto market newsletter, an automotive social networking site, CarSpace, and an analysis and commentary site, AutoObserver.com. Edmunds.com also has a "deals of the month" listing and a consumer database listing incentives and rebates.

Tags: automotive
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