Originally Posted by empowah
The problem is that you're comparing the car's trade-in value against its CURRENT sales price. A year ago, people were paying more for a new Focus than they are now.
The presence of incentives to boost sales has lowered resale values for owners.
That is true. I am comparing it to Truecar's average sales price. Anyone who paid above average will be worse off. Anyone who paid below average will be better off. This applies to all makes and models.
But as far as I can tell the huge rebates started in late 2011 and have not been reduced since - maybe a month here or there. So the vast majority of '12 and '13 buyers have been eligible for a rebate. That is probably the main reason why the Focus won the recent best compact car bang for the buck award, which I believe was based on the average transaction prices, not MSRP.