2010 Ford Fusion Sport – Click above for high-res image gallery

Residual values tell you a lot about a vehicle. If a car or truck has good quality and has plenty of customer demand it will have high residuals. If it's a lemon on wheels, clogging the rental lots, it will carry poor residuals. Detroit automakers have fared poorly in residual values for quite a few years, but it appears Ford may have taken a big step towards correcting that problem.

Ford is gleefully touting the results of the ALG January/February 2010 Residual Value Forecast for a good reason; the residuals of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles went up by $1,310 versus the January/February 2009 numbers. The residual values are based off of a formula that shows how much 2010 vehicles will be worth 36 months after purchase and Ford maintains the increase in residuals has a lot to do with the success of its latest redesigns and improved quality.

Proof of Ford's improved 36-month value scores comes in a comparison of the Fusion versus the Toyota Camry. The Fusion is now reportedly worth $687 more than the Camry after three years. The Ford Flex enjoys an even more decisive win versus the Toyota Highlander, as the boxy Blue Oval-branded wagon will reportedly be worth $1,800 more in three years. The 2010 Taurus scored the biggest increase, but not against the foreign competition. The smartly restyled sedan is worth $4,862 more after three years than the invisible 2009 Taurus. Both the Taurus and the Super Duty won the Kelly Blue Book Best Residual Value award in their respective segments.

A big reason Ford's residual values have skyrocketed in only one year is due to the automaker's improved status amongst customers. Fresh data from research firm Compete, Inc reportedly shows that the Blue Oval has surpassed Toyota in overall customer consideration for the past three months. Ford hasn't passed Toyota in Compete's customer satisfaction index since the firm began collecting data in 2002. Hit the jump to read over the Ford press release.


Related Gallery2010 Ford Fusion Sport

[Source: Ford]


PRESS RELEASE:

* The projected resale value of 2010 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles after 36 months in service increased by an average of $1,310 per vehicle compared to the 2009 model year – the industry's largest increase among full-line manufacturers
* The improvement allowed Ford to narrow the residual value gap with leading Asian automakers and maintain its advantage over U.S.-based automakers
* The 2010 Ford Fusion is expected to bring customers $687 more than the 2010 Toyota Camry after 36 months in service; the residual value of the 2010 Ford Flex commands an $1,800 premium over the Toyota Highlander
* Improved quality, new features and popular redesigned products are helping to boost Ford's residual values. Ford improved more than any other automaker in ALG's Perceived Quality Survey released in the fall of 2009
* Compete Inc., a Massachusetts research firm that studies online car shopping, says Ford has surpassed Toyota in customer consideration for the first time since it began tracking such data in 2002. Compete data show Ford surpassed Toyota in customer consideration in September, October and November

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 18, 2009 – Ford Motor Company vehicles, bolstered by improved quality, fuel economy and popular redesigned models, recorded the largest increase in residual values from the 2009 to the 2010 model year among full-line manufacturers.

The projected resale value of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles after 36 months in service increased by $1,310 per vehicle from 2009 to 2010 models, more than any other full-line automaker. This calculation is based on the straight average of all trim levels of each nameplate from ALG's January/February 2010 Residual Value Forecast with volume being weighted against R.L. Polk new vehicle registration data.

"We are very pleased that the quality and fuel economy our products are delivering is reflected in our residual values," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service. "We know future trade-in value is a very important factor to customers when they are shopping for a new vehicle."

Ford already held a residual value advantage over its U.S.-based rivals. With the improvement in the 2010 model year, Ford narrowed the gap with leading Asian automakers, including Toyota.

Some Ford vehicles have now surpassed competing vehicles from Toyota in average residual values. The 2010 Ford Fusion midsize sedan, for example, is expected to be worth $687 more than the 2010 Toyota Camry after 36 months in service. And the residual value of the 2010 Ford Flex full-size crossover commands an $1,800 premium over the Toyota Highlander.

A steady stream of new products has helped boost Ford's residual values. For example, the redesigned 2010 Ford Taurus's projected average resale value after 36 months in service is $4,862 more than the 2009 Taurus. The Taurus was redesigned inside and out and features a host of new features and technologies.

"The ultimate measure of the health of an automotive brand is its residuals," said Waldek Raczkowski, Ford residual business analyst. "We have great new products with good quality, fuel economy and technology. We are pricing our vehicles properly and setting our volumes appropriately to meet market demand. This adds up to a significant increase in residual values."

The 2010 Ford F-150 earned the 2010 ALG Residual Value award in the Full-Size Pickup category, and the 2010 Ford Taurus and 2010 Ford F-Series Super Duty received Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com Best Resale Value awards for the full-size car and full-size pickup categories respectively.

In addition, Ford's improved products and brand image is translating into higher residual values. Compete Inc., a Massachusetts research firm that studies online car shopping, says Ford has surpassed Toyota in customer consideration for the first time since it began tracking such data in 2002. Compete data show Ford surpassed Toyota in customer consideration in September, October and November.