New Fords jump in resale
2005 Ford Five Hundred Sedan
Five Hundred, Freestyle to retain about 50% of value in 3 years, highest in recent memory
By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News
Ford Motor Co.'s all-new Five Hundred sedan and Freestyle crossover vehicle are arriving in dealer showrooms with an extra bonus - estimated resale values that are among the highest of any Ford car in recent memory.
After three years, the influential Automotive Lease Guide estimates the Five Hundred, Ford's new flagship sedan, will retain 48 percent of its value; while an all-wheel drive Freestyle - which blends SUV and minivan attributes - will fetch 50 percent.
The base price for the Five Hundred starts at $24,495, while the Freestyle starts at $27,295.
"I can't remember something this high," said Ben Poore, Ford Car Division marketing manager. "Our highest car right now is Thunderbird, at 45 (percent)."
That's still below a Honda Accord sedan and Toyota Highlander crossover, which retain their value at a rate of 52 percent and 57 percent, respectively.
Estimated residual values reflect the anticipated effect of supply and demand after three years. They also factor in consumer buying decisions, because monthly lease payments are calculated on estimated residual values - the higher the residual, the lower the payment.
The trade-in record of Ford cars is bleak largely because the automaker flooded rental fleets with the Taurus. The strategy raises sales, but lowers residual values. Today, a 2005 Taurus retains just 30 percent of its retail value.
Ford says the ALG estimates - which also boost the 2005 Mustang's residual value to 49 percent, 8 points better than its predecessor - vindicate its strategy to limit lower-margin fleet sales to generate more profits in the retail market.