McGraw-Hill's J.D. Power Buys NADA Used Car Guide

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Consumers are using more technical data when searching for a vehicle. Now a key source of intelligence for dealers, wholesalers, lessors and lenders is stepping up. 

J.D. Power, a unit of McGraw-Hill Financial  (MHFI), said it will buy NADA Used Car Guide from the National Automobile Dealers Association, a U.S. trade group representing franchised car dealers. 

Earlier this year, McGraw-Hill hinted at increasing interest in acquisitions following a $1.5 billion settlement of government charges and investigations against its Standard & Poor's unit relating to activities during the global financial crisis. 

The transaction represents an expansion of J.D. Power's pricing, analytic and forecasting offerings to vehicle dealers, wholesalers, lenders and others in the business-to-business space. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter. 

Terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed.

Retail new-vehicle sales alone in the U.S. amount to about $500 billion annually and include many forms of leasing and financing. Consumers using digital technology can discover accurate and up-to-the-moment changes in pricing. J.D. Power and NADA had been working together to create more transparency in automotive transactions, mainly for retailers, wholesalers and financing agents. 

"We have been working closely with NADA Used Car Guides since 2008 and combining our retail expertise and focus on new vehicle pricing and analytics with their complementary expertise in the used vehicle arena, we will be able to offer a more comprehensive view and help dealers make better decisions," said Deirdre Borrego, J.D. Power's vice president of strategy, in an interview. 

Kelley Blue Book, and TrueCar (TRUE) are other digital ventures that help shoppers determine vehicle prices online. The true cost or value of vehicles fluctuates constantly due to rebates being offered by manufacturers, changing demand for certain popular vehicles and other factors such as oil prices.

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