News Column

Americans Can't Get Enough of Large Cars, Trucks and SUVs, According to Report

December 20, 2010
cars

Small cars and fuel efficiency were all the rage at the first major auto show of the season in Los Angeles in November, but shoppers are still attracted to larger vehicles, according to the AutoTrader.com November Trend Engine report, covering searches and site activity on AutoTrader.com for November 2010. The November report also includes the top-searched new, used and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles for the year.

"While there is a greater focus in the industry on producing fuel-sipping cars, Americans traditionally lean toward vehicles that provide more room and more power when gas prices are low-to-moderate like they are now," said AutoTrader.com CEO Chip Perry. "The dominance of shopper interest in larger cars, big trucks and SUVs has continued for much of the second half of 2010."

Mixed Bag as Cars, SUVs and Trucks Jockey for Position on New, Used & CPO Lists in November

While stylish cars and family sedans had the most spots on AutoTrader.com's list of the top 20 most-searched new vehicles in November, big trucks and SUVs continue mounting a comeback. For the first time since July, there are more trucks than cars in the top five new-vehicle spots. The new Ford F-150 reclaimed the No. 1 spot in November, beating out October's No. 1 new vehicle, the Toyota Camry, which fell to No. 3. The new Chevrolet Silverado 1500 came in at No. 4 and was joined by the new Dodge Ram 1500 at No. 5.

The new Jeep Grand Cherokee, though it was the only SUV to show a decrease in average asking price, leapt an impressive seven spots from the previous month, and a whopping 79 from the same time a year ago. In fact, all SUVs on the list moved up in popularity--both month-over-month and year-over-year.

Larger sedans secured the largest percentage of spots on the new-car list, with the Ford Fusion making the only big leap for new sedans on the list in November, moving up seven spaces month-over-month, landing at No. 12 on the Top 20 new-car list.

Conversely, trucks and SUVs make up the majority of vehicles listed on both the top 20 most-searched used and top 20 most-searched CPO vehicles lists. The Ford F-150 topped the list of most searched used cars on AutoTrader.com in November and the BMW 3-Series topped the list of the most-searched CPO cars in November.

"As 2010 comes to an end with shoppers showing a still-strong focus on larger vehicles, we'll be keeping a close eye on activity around the small car and green car segments to see if they heat up in 2011," said Perry. "New technologies such as turbocharged engines that provide more power while maintaining efficiency as well as small hybrid and electric cars have garnered significant media attention this year, and it will be interesting to see if those innovations are enough to attract today's car shoppers. My guess is they will if the continued economic recovery causes gas prices to rise significantly during 2011."

Ford secured the No. 1 most-searched overall brand spots for both new cars and used cars on AutoTrader.com in November or this year, positions the brand held in November of 2009 as well.

New, Used and CPO Average Asking Prices Continue to Climb

As would be expected in a month of double-digit sales growth for most of the auto manufacturers, the price story for November is strong for the most-searched new vehicles on AutoTrader.com. Average asking prices are up on 13 of the top 20 new cars. The biggest new-car average asking price jumps in November were on the Hyundai Sonata, up almost 8% compared to November 2009, and the new Ford Mustang, up almost 5% compared to this time last year.

Average asking prices also continued to increase on used and CPO cars listed for sale on AutoTrader.com in November, reflecting the continued imbalance of supply and demand in the used car space. Inventories of used cars have been low most of this year, while as a result of the economy demand for them has been up. At the same time, sluggishness in the new car market has also constrained the supply of used cars as fewer people having been trading in their cars to purchase new.

The average asking prices increased for 16 of the top 20 used cars listed for sale on AutoTrader.com in November. The biggest increases were on the Chevy Silverado 1500, up just over 5% from November of 2009, and the Ford F-150, up 4.26% compared to November of last year.

CPO average asking prices were also strong, with asking prices increasing on 15 of the top 20 CPO vehicles listed for sale on AutoTrader.com in November. The CPO BMW 5-Series saw the biggest average price jump year-over-year at 9.25%. The CPO Chevrolet Tahoe also saw a big jump in average asking price, up 7.14% compared to November of 2009.

"November was a strong month across the board for the industry," said Perry at AutoTrader.com. "New car sales were up significantly year-over-year, and CPO sales also saw a record month for 2010, which are great signs for the economic recovery," Perry said. "With increasing confidence, consumers are getting more and more comfortable moving forward on purchasing their next car, so we expect prices to remain strong. As more cars are purchased, the available inventory of quality pre-owned cars will increase, likely putting a cap on the asking prices for pre-owned vehicles."

Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota and Honda Place Strong in Year-End New, Used and CPO Rankings

Ford models captured four of the top 20 most-search new-car spots in AutoTrader.com's year-end rankings. The new Ford Mustang came in as the No.1 most-searched new car on AutoTrader.com for the whole of 2010, followed by the new Ford F-150. Chevrolet and Honda models both captured three spots on AutoTrader.com's top 20 most-searched new car list.

Ford was also a winner in the used-car space, with the used F-150 topping the list of the most-searched used vehicles on AutoTrader.com in 2010, followed by the BMW 3-Series at No. 2 for the year. Chevrolet was also a big brand winner on the used car list, with Chevrolet models capturing three of the top 20 most-searched used car spots.

The BMW 3-Series topped the list of the most-searched CPO vehicles on AutoTrader.com in 2010. Toyota was the big CPO brand winner, with CPO models from Toyota capturing five of the top 20 spots for the year. CPO models from Honda and Chevrolet also garnered lots of interest from car shoppers this year, the three models from each manufacturer landing on the list of the top 20 most-searched CPO vehicles on AutoTrader.com.

November Site Traffic Increases; Mobile Site Tops One Million for Third Month

More than 15 million unique monthly unique visitors went to AutoTrader.com in November 2010, a 12% lift from the 13.6 million who visited the site in November 2009. This increase was supported by numerous marketing initiatives, including advertising on national cable and network radio, major brand exposure at recent auto shows and an extensive partnership with the NBA. November was also an excellent month for the AutoTrader.com mobile site, which again received over one million unique visitors. This is the third month that the mobile site has surpassed the one million mark.

Top 10 Articles on AutoTrader.com in November

AutoTrader.com publishes insightful and informative articles about the automobiles and car shopping, including auto-shopping how-to tips, car reviews and automotive trend stories. In November, the most-viewed stories on AutoTrader.com, in order from one to 10, were:

1. Toyota Recalls 1.53 Million Cars Worldwide: Toyota recalls another

740,000 cars sold in the U.S.

2. Five American Cars to be Thankful For: a look at five cars that

indicate a brighter economic future.

3. Ford's F-Series Receives a New V6: the V6 returns to Ford's full-size

pickup lineup.

4. 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T: Who Needs a V6 Anyway? - New Car Review:

Hyundai takes the turbocharged path for 2011 Sedan.

5. Toyota and Tesla Team Up to Make a RAV4 EV: an all-electric RAV4 is on

the horizon.

6. Would an Entire Weekend Test Drive Change Your Mind? : AutoMatic and

Enterprise Rent-A-Car team up to offer extended test drives.

7. At 32 and Younger, 'Gen Y' Determines the Future of the Auto Industry:

annual survey of over 42,000 new vehicle buyers in the U.S. sheds

light on what's next for the auto industry.

8. Buick Regal GS Launches in Miami Beach: Buick introduces its most mot

aggressive car in decades--a high-performance version of its Regal

sedan.

9. Is Toyota Lame for Calling Parents Lame?: tongue-in-cheek commercials

draw the ire of some viewers.

10. 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman: Like a Mini, Only Bigger - New Car

Review: the Mini gets bigger and roomier in a new model.

These articles and more, including coverage of upcoming auto shows, can be found at http://www.autotrader.com/research.

About AutoTrader.com

Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com, created in 1997, is the Internet's ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers and is a leading online resource for auto dealers, individuals and manufacturers to advertise and market their vehicles to in-market shoppers. The company also provides a robust suite of software tools for dealers and manufacturers to help them manage and market their vehicle inventory and display advertising on the Internet. AutoTrader.com continues to grow key business metrics, including revenue, profitability and site traffic. Today, AutoTrader.com attracts more than 15 million unique monthly visitors who utilize the site to review descriptions, photos and videos of vehicles for sale; research and compare vehicles; review pricing and specials; and read auto-related content like buying and selling tips and editorial coverage of major auto shows and automotive trends. AutoTrader.com operates two other auto marketing brands, AutoTraderClassics.com and AutoTraderLatino.com. AutoTrader.com also owns used vehicle management software company vAuto. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit http://www.autotrader.com/.

NOVEMBER TOP 10 NEW VEHICLE BRANDS SEARCHED

MAKE Rank 11/10 Rank 11/09

Ford 1 1

Chevrolet 2 2

Toyota 3 3

Honda 4 4

Dodge 5 6

Nissan 6 5

BMW 7 10

Jeep 8 15

GMC 9 8

--- --- ---

Volkswagen 10 11

---------- --- ---

NOVEMBER TOP 10 USED VEHICLE BRANDS SEARCHED

MAKE Rank 11/10 Rank 11/09

Ford 1 1

Chevrolet 2 2

Toyota 3 3

Dodge 4 4

BMW 5 5

Nissan 6 6

Honda 7 7

Mercedes Benz 8 8

Jeep 9 9

---- --- ---

GMC 10 10

--- --- ---

NOVEMBER NEW CARS

VDP VDP VDP Avg. Avg. Avg.

Rank Rank Rank Price Price Price %

MAKE MODEL 11/10 10/10 11/09 11/10 11/09 Change

Ford F-150 1 2 1 37,242 35,871 3.82%

Honda Civic 2 3 5 19,965 20,073 -0.54%

Toyota Camry 3 1 2 24,710 24,566 0.59%

Silverado

Chevrolet 1500 4 5 4 33,597 34,082 -1.42%

Dodge Ram 1500 5 6 11 35,145 34,808 0.97%

Honda CR-V 6 8 21 25,706 25,843 -0.53%

Ford Mustang 7 4 8 34,370 32,737 4.99%

Honda Accord 8 7 3 26,282 25,909 1.44%

Toyota Corolla 9 9 6 18,300 18,287 0.07%

BMW 3 Series 10 10 16 47,610 47,282 0.69%

Volkswagen Jetta 11 11 20 23,830 22,828 4.39%

Ford Fusion 12 19 12 25,528 25,681 -0.60%

Jeep Wrangler 13 16 18 29,796 29,209 2.01%

Grand

Jeep Cherokee 14 21 93 36,654 37,082 -1.15%

Ford Escape 15 20 19 27,425 26,716 2.65%

Ford Focus 16 15 13 18,790 18,772 0.10%

Ford F-250 17 13 15 47,206 45,867 2.92%

Chevrolet Camaro 18 12 7 33,399 34,369 -2.82%

Hyundai Sonata 19 17 29 23,675 21,932 7.95%

------- ------ --- --- --- ------ ------ ----

Chevrolet Malibu 20 22 10 24,376 24,691 -1.28%

--------- ------ --- --- --- ------ ------ -----

NOVEMBER USED CARS

VDP VDP VDP Avg. Avg.

Rank Rank Rank Price Price

MAKE MODEL 10/10 9/10 10/09 10/10 10/09 % Change

Ford F-150 1 1 1 19,948 19,723 1.14%

BMW 3-Series 2 2 2 24,677 25,808 -4.38%

Silverado

Chevrolet 1500 3 3 3 19,975 19,010 5.08%

Ford Mustang 4 4 4 17,499 17,149 2.04%

Ford F-250 5 5 5 24,504 23,503 4.26%

Dodge Ram 1500 6 7 7 18,271 17,664 3.44%

Honda Accord 7 6 6 15,749 15,985 -1.48%

Chevy Tahoe 8 9 8 25,097 24,460 2.60%

Jeep Wrangler 9 8 13 20,256 19,496 3.90%

Silverado

Chevrolet 2500 10 11 10 23,610 22,665 4.17%

Dodge Ram 2500 11 13 12 24,959 24,044 3.81%

Honda Civic 12 10 9 13,198 13,728 -3.86%

Infiniti G35/G37 13 12 11 21,979 22,573 -2.63%

Toyota Tacoma 14 14 16 19,405 19,315 0.47%

BMW 5-Series 15 15 14 30,870 30,768 0.33%

Grand

Jeep Cherokee 16 16 17 16,594 16,249 2.12%

Nissan Altima 17 17 15 14,685 14,354 2.31%

Toyota Tundra 18 19 21 22,737 22,628 0.48%

Audi A4 19 18 19 20,742 20,500 1.18%

---- --- --- --- --- ------ ------ ----

Sierra

GMC 1500 20 23 25 20,924 20,158 3.80%

--- ------- --- --- --- ------ ------ ----

NOVEMBER CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED

VDP VDP VDP Avg. Avg.

Rank Rank Rank Price Price

MAKE MODEL 10/10 9/10 10/09 10/10 10/09 % Change

BMW 3-Series 1 1 1 29,243 30,659 -4.62%

Honda Accord 2 2 2 18,810 18,596 1.15%

Sliverado

Chevrolet 1500 3 4 3 24,517 23,371 4.90%

Ford F-150 4 3 7 25,120 23,767 5.69%

Toyota Tundra 5 5 5 26,334 25,268 4.22%

Chevrolet Tahoe 6 6 4 33,691 31,446 7.14%

Toyota Tacoma 7 7 10 22,644 22,539 0.47%

BMW 5-Series 8 9 8 38,791 35,505 9.25%

Toyota Camry 9 8 6 17,641 18,768 -6.00%

Audi A4 10 10 11 26,358 26,311 0.18%

Honda Civic 11 11 9 15,758 16,659 -5.41%

Toyota Highlander 12 16 13 25,683 24,017 6.94%

Acura TL 13 12 12 26,394 26,759 -1.37%

Volkswagen Jetta 14 13 25 16,317 16,097 1.37%

Honda Pilot 15 17 17 25,377 24,501 3.57%

Acura MDX 16 15 29 32,497 32,148 1.09%

Toyota 4Runner 17 18 19 25,862 24,826 4.17%

Ford Mustang 18 14 14 21,434 20,196 6.13%

BMW X5 19 19 24 41,746 41,875 -0.31%

--- --- --- --- --- ------ ------ -----

Sierra

GMC 1500 20 20 16 25,735 24,325 5.80%

--- ------- --- --- --- ------ ------ ----

YEAR-END: TOP 20 MOST VIEWED NEW VEHICLES IN 2010

2010

MAKE MODEL Rank

Ford Mustang 1

Ford F-150 2

Chevrolet Camaro 3

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4

Toyota Camry 5

BMW 3-Series 6

Dodge Ram 1500 7

Honda Civic 8

Honda Accord 9

Ford F-250 10

Jeep Wrangler 11

Chevrolet Corvette 12

Toyota Corolla 13

Honda CRV 14

Volkswagen Jetta 15

GMC Sierra 1500 16

Ford Fusion 17

Hyundai Sonata 18

Nissan Altima 19

------ ------ ---

Dodge Challenger 20

----- ---------- ---

YEAR-END: TOP 20 MOST VIEWED USED VEHICLES IN 2010

2010

MAKE MODEL Rank

Ford F-150 1

BMW 3-Series 2

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 3

Ford Mustang 4

Ford F-250 5

Honda Accord 6

Dodge Ram 1500 7

Jeep Wrangler 8

Honda Civic 9

Chevrolet Tahoe 10

Infiniti G35/37 11

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 12

Dodge Ram 2500 13

Toyota Tacoma 14

Nissan Altima 15

BMW 5-Series 16

Jeep Grand Cherokee 17

Toyota Tundra 18

Audi A4 19

---- --- ---

Ford Explorer 20

---- -------- ---

YEAR END: TOP 20 MOST VIEWED CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED VEHICLES IN 2010

2010

MAKE MODEL Rank

BMW 3-Series 1

Honda Accord 2

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 3

Ford F-150 4

Toyota Tundra 5

Chevrolet Tahoe 6

Toyota Camry 7

Toyota Tacoma 8

Audi A4 9

Honda Civic 10

BMW 5-Series 11

Ford Mustang 12

Acura TL 13

Volkswagen Jetta 14

Toyota Highlander 15

Honda Pilot 16

Toyota 4-Runner 17

Acura MDX 18

GMC Sierra 1500 19

--- ----------- ---

Chevrolet Suburban 20



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