Tundra Resale Value Reigns Supreme…Again

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It’s always great to say that the Tundra’s resale value is the best in the industry, but it’s starting to get a little old, isn’t it? We’ve talked at length about the Tundra’s superior resale value, citing studies from independent authorities like IntelliChoice and KBB.com that show the Tundra is number one in terms of resale.

Allow me to add Edmunds.com to the list for 2011. According to their newest study, the Tundra has the highest retained value of any light-duty pickup truck. Surprised? Me neither.

What is interesting, however, is that this year’s Edmunds.com study is an even more accurate measure of resale than any year prior…and that the way Edmunds is calculating ‘retained value’ should have favored Ford and GM a lot more than it did.

What Should Resale Value Be Based On?

For years, leasing companies have been calculating resale value as a percentage of MSRP. While this is a great way to structure a lease, it’s really not based on reality. After all, who pays MSRP? Most people who buy a car these days negotiate a discount and/or collect a cash rebate, both of which lower the effective price paid.

Follow along with my math for just a moment:

  1. A truck has an MSRP of $30k
  2. The actual purchase price is $25k
  3. In three years this truck will be worth $15k
  4. If we use MSRP as our starting point, the resale value is 50%.
  5. If use use the transaction price, the resale value is 60%

See the difference? By using the transaction price, we come up with a higher resale value percentage.

Edmunds.com used their True Market Value® data to calculate resale, and by my way of thinking companies that offer big discounts on new trucks (such as Ford, GM, and Fiat-Ram) would do better in this situation than Toyota, which tends to sell Tundras for less of a discount.

Yet here we are – despite the fact that Edmunds is using the transaction price as the starting point for their resale value calculation, the Tundra still wins.

Kind of cool, eh?

Filed Under: Buying a Tundra


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  1. Mickey says:

    Great piece Jason. Love the Fiat-Ram bit.

  2. mk says:

    tundra’s rock no question about that. I may be in the minority, but I use to get GMS pricing on new chevy silverado’s and back in the 90’s, the GMS pricing was about 17-18% off full msrp plus the rebates were always 3500 to 5,000 on top of GMS pricing – basically giving them away to me. GM finally got smart since around 2007 or so and drastically lowered the GMS purchase price discount to around 11-12% off full msrp which is more realistic to what I could get a tundra for. But, GM still has and even more so now usually 4-5K in rebates where the tundra around here has never been over 3500 in rebates as far as I know of. All I am saying is GM finally wised up just before their bankruptcy that they cannot just ‘give away’ their vehicles and expect to have decent resale value. GM learned a lesson from Toyota even though toyota still rules. No experience with Dodge or Ford, but I can assume they were just like GM was back in the day. Being the highest volume seller like Ford and GM doesn’t mean their quality is any better than our tundras and the resale value is proving that as you mentioned. I do find however that edmunds and especially consumer reports always favors toyota and honda over the big 3. Most of it is justified, but not all of the slamming of the big 3 is true.

  3. Jason (Admin) says:

    Mickey – Thanks!

    mk – Speaking from my Ford days, there were some pretty killer A-plan deals to be had. I bought a new Ford Focus for A-plan minus rebates once upon a time, drove it for a year and a half, and then sold it for about what I paid.

    You’re absolutely correct that GM, Ford, and Fiat-Ram have backed away from the big rebates now.

    Also, I might have agreed that CR and Edmunds favored the imports, but both have been giving a lot of very good ratings to Ford products lately. I think the quality gap between Ford and Toyota/Honda is very small (if there is any gap at all).

  4. Mickey says:

    I don’t think C/R gives Toyota anything since the 2007 debacle. They seem to do everyone else and throw the Tundra under the bus. Sorry I will never trust C/R again.

  5. mk says:

    mickey, as you probably know, consumer reports NEVER gives recommended ratings to any newly redesigned vehicle first year production run.

    Jason, in the heyday, I even drove 2 silverado’s for 6-7 months each and traded them in and dealer actually gave me more for them on trade in than the exact same silverado although 1 model year newer. Dealer gave me a check, although small-under 500 bucks, twice since trade in was more than the GMS price I paid on a new silverado. Those days are long gone though. I wonder how consumer reports will now re-evaluate the ford trucks now that over 1 million trucks are recalled due to air bag issues. I do agree though that ford has gained reliability standards almost on par with honda and toyota where GM and especially dodge/chrysler is the worst.

  6. TXTee says:

    Slightly off topic but I did read an article recently that stated in spite of Toyota having the major recall issues, they are still highly rated in the top percentile for reliability and demand. And with gas prices going the way they are, the Prius cannot be stopped. Hmm, maybe I should rephrase that. 🙂

  7. Mickey says:

    Mk they did the Tundra in 07. Pulled their recommendation when Toyota did the recall on the propeller shaft. Then they turned around and did the samething to Chevy. Gave them a recommendation without testing the truck. After their remarks about never again will they give a recommendation to a truck that wasn’t tested. Not only they didn’t test the chevy truck they gave it top honors. So to me C/R is hypocritical in their statements.

  8. Jason (Admin) says:

    Mickey – I think that CR is interesting, but it’s not trustworthy by itself. The editors are nearly militant when it comes to consumer issues, and I really didn’t like the way they handled the supposed “unintended acceleration” issue. Combined with their 2007 announcement that they weren’t going to “automatically recommend” the Tundra, they haven’t done anything to really impress me lately either.

    mk – That’s a good question. In my opinion, the airbag recall is really a minor safety issue. Still, according to Consumer Reports methodology, that’s a reliability or safety issue.

    TXTee – LOL. I have seen those numbers and I agree Toyota is poised to recover very nicely. The earthquake will hurt sales this year, but next year they’ll be rolling with some new product and pent-up demand.

  9. Mickey says:

    Anonymous very good try. For your information all ports have radiation technology to check all cargo ships for the nuke radiation. This is done automatically anyway not just because what happened to Japan. What you failed to report is that your other automakers are in the same boat for parts. As for your remark in the beginning just shows everyone you’re a sore loser. Get over it.

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