Which electric vehicle is the “most popular” used car in Southern California? – Daily bulletin


How incredibly tumultuous is the used car market in Southern California?

Consider the area’s most popular vehicle – the original electric Nissan Leaf. Yes, car-mad SoCal is quickly driving up the price of a car once ranked among the ugliest and most likely to depreciate.

Let’s set the scene. A global shortage of computer chips means there are few new cars to buy. So the used car parking lot is where all the action takes place.

Soaring car values ​​and record gasoline prices – not to mention economic uncertainty – have prompted people buying transportation to rethink their purchasing tactics.

It’s hard to understand, but used vehicle prices in Southern California rose 30% to $ 31,883 in the year ended in November, according to an isecars.com analysis. I say “only” because prices exploded in June, up 33% in one year!

And a recent buying penny crisis helped make the Leaf the used car with the biggest year-over-year price increase in November: up 64% (or $ 8,482) to 21,714 $.

Yes, historically the Leaf has seen quite a bit of buzz.

It made its debut ten years ago as an industry pioneer with its all-electric power supply and was named 2011 World Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show. It was the best-selling electric vehicle until the arrival of Tesla.

When I reviewed my 2012 Leaf test drive, I called this curiously shaped vehicle “fun and energetic driving.” A makeover in 2018 also drew positive reviews.

A worker dust off a Nissan Leaf before it was named 2011 World Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday, April 21, 2011. (AP Photo / Richard Drew)

But over the years the Leaf has also been mocked.

Its quirky and odd look placed it on Edmunds.com’s 2013 list of the 100 ugliest cars: “a bubble gum with doorknobs.” Or when the Kelly Blue Book gurus ranked cars in 2014 based on their expected resale value, the Leaf was the latest and is expected to hold just 18% of its purchase price over five years.

“The big picture of this upside-down market is that even cars that are generally in low demand are currently in high demand,” says Julie Blackley at iseecars.

It’s likely that those old big discounts for the Leafs are making him popular now. And the cost savings were definitely on the minds of car buyers in November. Let’s look at other used cars with giant price hikes. Most are small and fuel efficient …

– No. 2. Nissan Versa: up 53% – or $ 5,342 – to $ 15,440

– No. 3. Chevrolet Spark (another electric vehicle): up to 50% – or $ 5,130 – to $ 15,370

– N ° 4. Kia Forte: up to 50% – or $ 6,241 – to $ 18,798

– No. 5. Toyota Corolla: up 47% – or $ 6,673 – to $ 21,024

The Nissan LEAF in its early days. (Photo by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images for Nissan)

Gasoline prices are a major factor in the escalation of used car prices. Blackley notes that the nationwide average used vehicle is 28% more expensive than a year ago. When you take a look at the fuel-efficient options, prices for hybrids have gone up 38% and electric vehicles by 58%.

Yet November’s emphasis on cheap wheels is a dramatic pandemic pivot in the type of used cars that experience the biggest price hikes.

“Earlier this year, big, expensive SUVs were in high demand and economy cars weren’t subject to the same price increases,” says Blackley. “It was also a separation between the haves and have-nots, because the majority of people who bought cars had plenty of money.”

Now let’s go back to June and see what was top of the local list of auction models. They were much bigger and sportier luxury vehicles …

– No. 1. Lincoln Navigator: up to 65% – or $ 27,349 – to $ 69,424

– No. 2. Audi A8 L: up 56% – or $ 20,357 – to $ 56,515

– No. 3. Mercedes-Benz G-Class: up 53% – or $ 59,442 – to $ 171,809

– No. 4. Volvo S60: up 49% – or $ 9,339 – to $ 28,244

– No. 5. Chevrolet Corvette: up 48% – or $ 24,660 – to $ 76,358

Changing what’s hot is more than changing automotive tastes. The summer has had its fair share of economic challenges, including inflation and supply chain shortages, as well as lingering employment headaches in California. This kind of uncertainty dampens consumer confidence and makes the economy a priority.

“Now there is an increased demand for affordable transportation,” says Blackley. “People who were previously in the market for larger, more expensive cars have been excluded from these segments. Economy cars are their only option.

Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be contacted at [email protected]


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