Kelley Blue Book, one of the leading providers of new and used car information, recently released its annual Residual Analysis Report for 2013, recognizing Toyota with the top brand position for the second consecutive year.
KBB's Best Resale Value Awards are based on projections from Kelley Blue Book Official Residual Value Guide, which is put together by a skilled staff of automotive analysts.
"After the past two tumultuous years, Toyota bounced back in 2012 to prove it hadn't lost its competitive spirit," said Eric Ibara, director of residual consulting for Kelley Blue Book. "Enduring some of its darkest days in the U.S. market after unintended acceleration issues caused a massive worldwide recall of Toyota models, the brand managed to retain residual value levels consistent with its historical averages. If the recall wasn't enough, the 2011 tsunami in Japan resulted in severe disruptions in supply."
Even though Toyota has experienced some setbacks in the last couple years, Ibara reported that the automaker has prevailed and regained the market share it lost to other automakers last year. Considering the many challenges Toyota has faced, Ibara considers it to be a major accomplishment for the automaker to overcome and remain Best Resale Value: Brand for the past two years in a row.
Lexus was also recognized as the having the Best Resale Value: Luxury Brand, which was also the second consecutive year that the automaker earned the title. Both of the auto brands also won their respective categories in 2010, making them the winners in three of the last four years.
Paired with the automotive market showing a better performance than it has in previous years, unemployment has also decreased on a year-over-year basis, which could be the reason sales numbers are beginning to pick up for new vehicles.
"Unemployment remains aggravatingly high, despite the amount of time that has elapsed since the economy bottomed in 2009," Ibara added. "Individuals without jobs are not likely to purchase new vehicles, so a return to a 16 million seasonally adjusted annual rate will not be likely until the employment picture brightens."
Toyota on track to regain No. 1 spot
According to the Los Angeles Times, Toyota is on track to become the world's best-selling automaker once again after losing its position to General Motors last year. Despite the challenges faced, the automaker is on pace to sell 9.7 million vehicles this year. If sales numbers hold up, Toyota will surpass General Motors by more than 1 million vehicles and set a record for annual auto sales.
Toyota's reputation suffered the biggest blow in the United States when the automaker faced several challenges such as recalls and natural disasters, but has emerged to become a cash cow in the country, selling more than 1.7 million vehicles in the first 10 months of the year, which is a 30 percent gain and more than double the industry growth rate..
"Toyota has done some smart things," said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Automotive. "They have concentrated a lot of time and effort on the U.S., which is incredibly important because they make so much money here."
Toyota has introduced 11 new or completely redesigned models this year, which includes the new station wagon and commuter versions of its popular Prius hybrids. The automaker now accounts for 14.4 percent of the U.S. auto market, which is up from the 12.6 percent reported in 2011.