Friday, 25 September 2015

Self-Parking Tech vs. Drivers, Who Wins?

The technology isn't the problem. Confidence in it is.

Americans don't trust self-parking technology. But maybe they should.
Some 80% of American drivers are confident in their parallel parking abilities, according to a survey by AAA. However, the organization found in a series of tests that self-parking technology outperformed manual parkers in number of curb strikes and maneuvers, speed, and accuracy. Drivers lost out even though they had help from a standard back-up camera in the car.
AAA and the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center tested self-parking features on five vehicles: a 2015 Lincoln MKC, a 2015 Mercedes-Benz ML400 4Matic, a 2015 Cadillac CTS-V Sport, a 2015 BMW i3 and a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited.
The testing found drivers who used self-parking systems experienced 81 percent fewer curb strikes and were able to complete the task 10 percent faster than drivers who did it themselves. Self-parking systems parallel parked the vehicle using 47 percent fewer maneuvers, with some systems completing the task in as little as one maneuver, according to AAA.
Self-parking tech does have its issues. AAA found that some systems parked the vehicles exceedingly close to the curb, which left wheels and tires vulnerable to scratches and costly repairs. Some systems left as little as a half-inch buffer. AAA recommends drivers leave 6 to 8 inches between the vehicle and the curb when parallel parking.
Self-parking technology might do a better job, but drivers just aren't ready to give up control of the wheel. Only one-in-four drivers who responded to the AAA survey said they would trust this technology to park their vehicle.
And therein lies the conundrum for automakers, which are under industry pressure to add more technology to their new vehicles. In-vehicle technology is big business-about $14.5 billion in projected revenues for this year alone, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. And yet, consumers are wary of a lot of the tech that's being added to vehicles. And in some cases, consumers are apparently so repulsed by certain tech that they'd rather it not be included in their next car.
A survey released in August 2015 by J.D. Power found that at least 20% of new vehicle owners have never used 16 of the 33 technology features measured. In the J.D. Power survey, 39% of consumers surveyed said they don't want an automatic parking system in their next car. However, 82% said they would like parking assist (which still gives the driver manual control).
In short, there's a significant gap between the technology available in cars today and people who actually want to use it. In some cases, it's a lack of trust in the technology (or seen another way, a greater confidence in our own abilities). In other cases, consumers just don't see a need for the technology.
Either way, this hesitation toward today's tech foreshadows the challenge automakers face to convince people to give up all control and jump into a self-driving car. Google and Apple , among others, are already working on and testing self-driving cars. The technology isn't the problem. Confidence in it will be.

Self-Parking Tech vs Drivers, Who Wins?

Friday, 18 September 2015

Canadian demand for new credit strongest in the auto sector

New data from Equifax Canada's Q2 National Consumer Credit Trends Report showed that demand for new credit is strongest in the auto sector, and is growing everywhere except Quebec.
The report also found that Canadians are still adding on debt, but at a slower rate seen in past quarters.
According to the report, total consumer debt is now at $1.568 trillion, driven primarily by the installment loan and auto loan sectors. In fact, debt in the auto loan sector increased by 3.9 percent year-over-year in Q2.
The average consumer debt is $21,164, which increased by 2.0 percent versus 2.7 percent in the previous quarter, the report stated.
"The overall trend we've seen with debt levels going up and delinquency rates coming down is still the case, but some of the sub-segments within the Canadian population are changing their behavior," explained Regina Malina, senior director of decision insights at Equifax Canada. "We're starting to see the impact of low oil prices in the West as these prices are forcing a new reality on Alberta and Saskatchewan in particular. In these two provinces the debt levels are stable, but the delinquency rate has started to increase."
As oil prices continue to slide, Equifax Canada reported Canada is slipping into a "mild recession," though the company also reported appetite for new credit is still on the rise, with the strongest activity observed in the auto, bank and national credit card sectors.
As far as delinquencies go, in mid-2015, it decreased to 1.09 percent after rising in Q1. And Equifax Canada reported auto loan delinquency rates continued to increase when compared to the previous quarter.
When compared to the same quarter last year, the national 90+ day delinquency rate decreased, as well, driving by improving rates in Ontario.
On the other hand, delinquency rates in Quebec and the Eastern region are on the rise.
And in the Western provinces, after delinquency declined over the past several year, the areas saw rates rise this past quarter.
This movement was driven, of course, by significant delinquency increases within the oil-heavy regions of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
A recent study from TransUnion asserted consumers and lenders should expect "sharp increases" in credit and loan product delinquencies in the near future, especially in the oil-heavy regions of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
"Based on an historical analysis of the last oil crash and recent payment behavior trends, we expect materially higher delinquency rates in Alberta and Saskatchewan in the second half of 2015," said Jason Wang, co-author of the study and TransUnion's director of research and industry analysis in Canada.
Taking a look at demographics, the delinquency rate for Canadians over 65 rose for the first time since 2010 by a rate of 2.4 percent in Q2, according to the Equifax Canada report.
"Delinquency rates for all other age groups are decreasing by different degrees, but for the first time in several years, we've seen this change in behavior from seniors," said Malina. "In the light of the fact that debt carried by seniors has been increasing faster than for other age groups for a while, we will monitor this trend closely in the coming quarters."
As for bankruptcies go, rates have consistently declined since 2009.
Equifax Canada reported Ontario continues to lead the pack in terms of the decline in bankruptcies.
The number of bankruptcies has decreased since 2009.
Ontario continues to lead in terms of the rate of decrease of bankruptcies.
That said, the report stated that average bankruptcy balances increased in Q2 year-over-year, driven primarily by the younger segments, as well as in the Western and Eastern regions.

Canadian Demand for New Credit Strongest in the Auto Sector........................

Friday, 11 September 2015

Cars take 34% longer to enter used market

Three other factors besides vehicle dependability triggered a 34-percent spike during the past 12 years in the average time for a new vehicle to enter the used market for the first time.
According to the latest report from the Used Car Guide division of J.D. Power, that average time moved from 48.2 months in 2003 to 64.7 months in 2014.
Analysts arrived at the metrics after reviewing IHS Automotive registration data.
Used Car Guide acknowledged vehicle dependability certainly played a significant role in the trend, but three other factors did, too, including:
- Economic conditions
- Automaker discounts
- Finance terms
With those trends in mind, here are two key takeaways dealers, finance companies and other industry observers should digest.
J.D. Power Power Information Network (PIN) data indicated that new vehicle length of ownership is "more or less" keeping pace with progressively stretched loan terms, report authors surmised. PIN data put installment contract terms year-to-date at an average of 67.3 months.
"Certainly the trend toward longer loan terms isn't without tangible risk," analysts said.
"For example, longer terms increase the time required to reach positive equity," they continued. "But it's much less likely the vehicle will suffer a significant operational failure before the loan is paid in full.
"Consumers and lenders wouldn't be as willing to take on the added risk if it were," the report goes on to say.
Further cementing the point about risk is this: Experian Automotive pointed out that average amount financed to complete a new-vehicle installment contract during the second quarter increased by $1,095 year-over-year to come in at $28,524.
The other takeaway Used Car Guide wanted to leave with the industry is how all of these elements are combining to impact the consumer purchase cycle.
"The longer the length of ownership, the more time has to pass before a consumer is back in the market for another new or pre-owned vehicle," analysts said.
Earlier this year when Experian Automotive only had Q1 data to share, analysts spotted that contracts with terms lasting 73 to 84 months accounted for a record-setting 29.5 percent of all new vehicles financed, marking an 18.6 percent rise above Q1 2014 and the highest percentage on record since Experian began publically tracking this data in 2006.
In Q2, that level of 73 to 84 months contracts came in at 28.8 percent, slightly lower than the record established a quarter earlier. However, the reading still marked a 19.7-percent climb year-over-year.
Experian Automotive offered this assessment after the record was set earlier this year.
"While longer term loans are growing, they do not necessarily represent an ominous sign for the market," said Melinda Zabritski, Experian's senior director of automotive finance and a keynote speaker for the SubPrime Forum during Used Car Week.
"Most longer-term loans help consumers keep monthly payments manageable, while allowing them to purchase the vehicles they need without having to break the bank," Zabritski continued. "However, it is critical for consumers to understand that if they take a long-term loan, they need to keep the car longer or could face negative equity should they choose to trade it in after only a few years."
The report from the Used Car Guide referenced above is titled, "Lasting Longer: How Better Quality is Affecting Used Vehicle Demand." It discusses how new-car quality and durability has increased significantly over the past two decades, and notes how this is having a strong impact on how these cars are bought and sold as used vehicles.

By Auto Remarketing staff

Cars Take 34% Longer to Enter Used Market.....................................................

Friday, 4 September 2015

Carproof Adds Badges to Vehicle History Reports

CarProof Corp., makers of vehicle history reports, announced Wednesday the addition of easy to read badges to its reports as an attempt to improve readability and simplify transparency. The new badges aim to make it easy for car buyers to identify key attributes they may be looking for in a used vehicle, examples being accident free or one-owner vehicles.
"In numerous recent studies, consumers rated previous accident information as mission critical to the used-car research process," said Ed Woiteshek, CarProof's president and chief executive officer. "Used-car buyers want information they can digest in a single glance that is easy to understand. With these badges, shoppers can tell right away if the vehicle they're looking at has the features that matter to them. Our hope is that this will change the way consumers use our reports and search for cars online."
According to the company, another aim of the badging is to make it as clear as possible to consumers that the dealers who use the history reports value transparency and deserve their trust. The badges began to appear on CarProof's vehicle history reports on Wednesday, with the future option for opportunities to digitally integrate badges into online vehicle listings at a future date.

Carproof Adds Badges to Vehicle History Reports.......................................