Schwacke- “Wertmeister 2015”: The forecast of value retention is not a guarantee

BMW advertising: The i3 is "Wertmeister" 2015 in the category electric car

Almost all automakers are happy these days because one or more of their models are from Schwacke and Autobild was chosen as the "value master". Basically, the Wertmeister list is as reliable as the weather forecast for next year.

The “Wertmeister” titles are not a guarantee promise. This should not be overlooked with all the joy of the "value masters" among car buyers. The manufacturers do not praise themselves, but only communicate what the specialist journal Autobild and used car analyst Schwacke have determined (want) for the twelfth time: the so-called “value master”. In other words, the vehicle model that (probably) has the least loss of value in four years and can therefore be considered “stable”.

What gets lost in the presentation and in the advertisements of the car manufacturers is the fact that the “value master” is a forecast, an imponderable “calculated” estimate. And forecasts, we know, are particularly unreliable when they refer to the distant future.

The fact that the BMW i3, which has been on the market for a year, is said to have lost only 40 percent of its new car price in three years, is therefore an extrapolation with many unknowns. It can be true, but it can also be clearly missed. In the past, this has already led to disgruntled customers, when they trade-in their vehicles with the manufacturer, insisted that the low loss of value advertised once was actually taken into account to the last digit after the decimal point. Suddenly the manufacturer in question no longer wanted to know anything about its "Wertmeister advertisement" at the time. “That was just a prognosis,” the manufacturer countered the protesting and angry customer at the time. A legal dispute arose in which an out-of-court settlement was reached.

Who could blame customers if they want to trade in their i2018 to BMW dealers in 3 and with Autobild insist on getting 60 percent of the original price credited like it Autobild has announced? However, from a legal point of view, BMW does not mention a percentage in the advertisement, but is only happy about the title “Value Master”.

There is no question that Schwacke has made every effort to calculate or forecast the stable value of the 39 models in 13 vehicle categories. Nevertheless, the future valuation scenario remains a forecast with no guarantee.

The intention of the inventors of this competition is undoubtedly to be commended. "The loss of value plays an important role for private buyers when making a purchase decision," says Hans Hamer, managing director of the publishing house Autobild. But the possible loss of value certainly plays a smaller role in the purchase decision than is claimed here. "Since the loss of value of all vehicles after four years is within a framework of just over 40 percent, we look at completely different criteria when making a purchase," says the fleet manager of a Munich sales organization.

"The Kings in Resale" Autobild the winners of the Wertmeister campaign. There he has Dacia Logan The smallest loss in value in euros is to be expected in four years: 4260 euros, but does not appear in the table of the value managers, who indicate the value retention in percent. That confuses. And that one Dacia Already from the low new price (9910 euros) a candidate with the least loss in euros is mathematical logic.

How shaky the calculated, better: estimated future values ​​are Autobild itself clear: So flow loudly Schwacke also factors that no one can predict. General economic development, new laws, market and customer trends and many more imponderables.

On average, it can be said that in four years from 55 to 65 percent of the new price can be expected when a vehicle that is newly acquired today is sold. In the forecast, the Mini Cooper even managed to retain 65,6 percent of the value, the Opel Zafira Tourer only managed 52,4 percent.

As mentioned, the Wertmeister list is basically as precise as the weather forecast for next year. The revenue for a car bought today will probably depend in four years on how well cared for the vehicle is, what extras are required and how many kilometers it has on the odometer. And above all: how well you negotiate.

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