Cars.com Notes Continued Lag in Interest for Toyota
CHICAGO — Mirroring trends from other industry outlets, officials from Cars.com spotted sharp declines in consumer interest sparking contact with dealers for several Toyota vehicles when analyzing February Web traffic.
In fact according to the most recent Cars.com Consumer Search Index, six of the top 10 decreases were for Toyota models including RAV4, Corolla, Camry, Highlander, Prius and FJ Cruiser. This index tracks the fluctuation of consumer contact with dealers originating from the site.
The only Toyota vehicle enjoying positive growth in consumer interest at Cars.com was the Sienna. Site officials pointed out that this unit wasn't included in recent recalls and has been greatly redesigned.
"It's nothing short of surprising to see the activity that the new Toyota Sienna has generated, considering all the turmoil surrounding the automaker's recalls," noted Patrick Olsen, editor in chief of Cars.com.
Meanwhile, General Motors didn't fare so well either. The remaining four vehicles showing the most decrease were the GMC Sierra 1500 and three units from Chevrolet, the Corvette, Tahoe and Equinox.
Like Toyota, GM still did have one vehicle enjoy positive interest growth in February. The Chevrolet Camaro was among Cars.com's top 10 for the month.
Moving up the Cars.com interest charts were Korean models. Site executives stated Hyundai and Kia benefited directly from Toyota's troubles, specifically mentioning interest gains for the Hyundai Sonata and Tucson and the Kia Sorento.
"The aggressive marketing efforts on the part of Hyundai and Kia are working when it comes to generating interest among car shoppers," Olsen stressed.
Cars.com also mentioned that Ford continued its strong performance on the site which has helped to propel the manufacturer past GM in terms of total sales for the first time since 1998.
|Cars.com Consumer Search Index — February 2010|
|Top Percentage Increase in Consumer Contacts to Dealers|
|Top Percentage Decrease in Consumer Contacts to Dealers|
|GMC Sierra 1500||51|
|Toyota FJ Cruiser||25|