Ford resale values and its quality scores rise; biggest gains in industry, guide says

Ford car resale values rose an average of $2,420, the most of any automaker and almost four times the industry-wide increase, research firm Automotive Lease Guide said.Ford also had the biggest gain in the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based firm’s scores for “perceived quality,” a measure of such values and consumer views of reliability. Ford’s resale gain for 2010’s first half compares with an industry average of $616 from a year earlier, Matt Traylen, the firm’s chief economist, said Friday on a conference call. “The perception is starting to catch up with reality,” Jim Farley, Ford’s global marketing chief, told reporters on the call. “Resale value is the ultimate proof point.”The second-largest U.S. automaker has gained sales and market share in its home market with new and redesigned models such as the Fusion sedan. The Fusion’s resale value after three years is now $1,600 higher than that of Toyota’s Camry, according to Automotive Lease Guide.

Ford will begin promoting its resale values in advertising during the next three months, including a company-wide sales promotion late in that period, Farley said.

That Ford was able to avoid a government bailout while General Motors and Chrysler reorganized in bankruptcy with federal aid “was very important in consumers’ minds,” Traylen said.

Ford staved off a bailout by borrowing $23 billion in late 2006 before credit markets froze. CEO Alan Mulally used the money to rebuild the quality and offerings of the Ford brand. The company’s U.S. sales surged 33% this year through April, almost twice the industry’s 17% gain.

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