Cars.com Says Interest in Toyota Waned in April
CHICAGO — While incentives may have been effective in generating consumer interest in Toyota in March, those gains didn't last in April, according to Cars.com, which suggested the downward effect from the automaker's recalls on its sales will likely linger.
Specifically, the site said that during April, Toyota new-vehicle leads on Cars.com fell 17 percent. Showing particularly large declines in the leads generated for dealers during the month were Toyota's Tundra (down 25.7 percent), Highlander (down 37 percent) and RAV4 (down 28.1 percent) models.
"Toyota used incentives in March to help spur consumer activity. However, it appears the intended effect of those incentives was short lived," stated Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief of Cars.com. "It will be really interesting to see how long Toyota uses incentives as a carrot to drive consumer activity, which is ironically the formula the Big 3 have worked hard to get away from recently."
Also struggling in April was Kia, whose new-car leads to dealers were down 22 percent. Leads for the Kia Sorento, in particular, were off 38 percent.
"While some of this is general seasonality, Kia had several huge months in terms of activity on Cars.com that was bolstered by their heavy marketing efforts for their new Sorento," Olsen stated.
"Now it seems that consumer interest has waned a bit as the Sorento tops the list of vehicles that had the largest month over month decline in leads," he added.
Meanwhile, among the leaders of individual models in terms of gains in the number of new-car leads generated were the Ford Mustang (up 32.8 percent), the Ford Edge (up 17 percent) and the Honda Pilot (up 9 percent).
As far as brands, Mini led the way (up 13 percent), followed by Land Rover (up 11 percent) and Suzuki (up 7 percent).
Conversely, Saab (down 26 percent), Volvo (down 25 percent) and GMC (down 24 percent) showed the heaviest drop-offs.