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.
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