GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Black Book announced Monday that it has launched Finance Advance, which is a new market-driven value that was designed to establish the appropriate base value financial institutions can use as a basis for advancing funds.

The new Finance Advance program value reflects the pre-owned vehicle industry's improvement in vehicle reconditioning standards, extended warranties, certified pre-owned vehicles and the overall quality of vehicles produced today, officials indicated.

The typical wholesale value on a front-line ready vehicle being retailed usually falls between Black Book's "clean" and "extra clean" categories, executives pointed out.

By closely monitoring the market, Black Book said it has developed a single Finance Advance value that reflects these vehicles more accurately.

"Of course, lending institutions can advance above or below the Finance Advance value based on their own risk parameters, but they will have confidence knowing their core number is an accurate reflection of today's market," explained Tom Cross, Black Book's president.

"Finance Advance has been developed in response to our customers' evolving needs in the auto loan industry. Recent events in the credit industry make it more important than ever for financial institutions to maximize how much they can responsibly lend for a particular vehicle," he continued. "Providing a market-driven Finance Advance value will give lenders more confidence in their ability to make proper lending decisions."

Finance Advance is now available in all Black Book products, including printed guidebooks, hand-held PDAs, via the Internet and can be interfaced with dealer management systems, executives reported.