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Americans Can’t Get Enough of Large Cars, Trucks and SUVs, According to AutoTrader.com November Trend Engine Report

December 20, 2010

ATLANTA, Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — 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 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 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
    ---------   --------            ---

SOURCE AutoTrader.com


Source: newswire