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.