Photo of 2015 Buick Encore courtesy of GM.
Black Book has begun offering residual valuation data for a new group of compact SUVs entering the market as it expands coverage of one of the automotive industry's fastest growing segments.
The commercial vehicle valuation evaluator has added a new segment called Sub Compact Crossover that will include the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, and Jeep Renegade.
The Encore entered the U.S. market with the 2013 model year, while the Trax and Renegade started with 2015. Fiat will begin offering the 500X as a 2016-MY vehicle.
While three of these vehicles haven't been widely available, the Encore has shown strong valuation in auction lanes so far, said Anil Goyal, Black Book's vice president of automotive valuation and analytics.
"Combining spacious cabins and better fuel economy, crossovers have satisfied the American driver’s thirst for versatility in a vehicle," Goyal said.
The popularity of crossovers has potentially eaten into mid-size sedan sales, and the strength in the category shouldn't flag in the short term, Goyal said. Sales of crossovers have been particularly strong since 2005.
General Motors is seeing interest from pharmaceutical fleets and other sales representatives for the Encore and Trax, said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president for fleet and commercial sales.
"We see continued interest in the small compact SUV segment," Peper said. "Customers want a safe, functional and economical compact SUV that fits their business needs."
In March, the segment saw a combined retention rate of a 1.1-percent increase from February. Black Book began tracking sub-compact crossovers in March. Black Book also tracks 37 vehicles in the Compact Crossover category. The proliferation of luxury compact SUVs show up in Black Book's Luxury SUV category.
By Paul Clinton