Unique Promotions Send Units Up KBB’s Hot Car Report
IRVINE, Calif. — Diverse manufacturer promotion efforts seem to be paying dividends for two of the leading vehicles in the latest Hot Car Report from Kelley Blue Book's Kbb.com.
Enjoying the most weekly shopping activity growth on the site among new models was the 2011 Toyota Avalon. Site officials indicated the vehicle posted a 62-percent growth interest for the week, a figure more than double the next closest unit among new and redesigned models, which was the 2011 Ford F-250 Crew Cab.
"It is good to see that the redesigned Toyota Avalon and its 'Travel Avalon Style' advertising campaign have ignited interest in the comfortable large sedan, even under the microscope of Toyota's recent unintended acceleration crisis," noted James Bell, executive market analyst for Kbb.com.
Other percentage increases for new and redesigned models that site officials noted were for the 2011 Kia Sorento (10.1 percent), 2011 Ford Fiesta (7.7 percent), and 2011 Buick Regal (6.1 percent). Trending in the opposite direction were a pair of vehicles from Infiniti, the M37 (-3.8 percent) and M56 (-5.8 percent).
Another vehicle that gained significant attention on Kbb.com's charts stemmed from a different promotional medium, according to site officials. Overall growth interest in the Audi R8 climbed 38.2 percent, second only to the Toyota Avalon.
"Some skeptics point to product placement in movies as wasteful and unnecessary. To those people, we offer the growth of shopper interest in the almost-three-year-old Audi R8 just as commercials for the new Iron Man 2 are hitting full speed," Bell explained.
"If Tony Stark wants one, that seems to be good enough reason for car shoppers," he added.
Other vehicles that had strong activity growth increases last week at Kbb.com included the Acura ZDX (35.4 percent), BMW X5 (32.6 percent) and Lexus GX460 (35.2 percent), a unit the OEM recently voluntarily recalled to repair the 2010 model.
"While some of Toyota's issues have cast a shadow, they also have sent bargain hunters out to shop," Bell suspected.
"That may have been the case in the last week when the Lexus GX460 was called into question, as it is now a top-researched vehicle," he added.
Nonetheless, one Toyota unit still posted an activity decline last week. Kbb.com officials spotted a 12-percent decrease in traffic for the Highlander.
Other double-digit declines the site noticed were for the Hummer H3 (-11.7 percent), Dodge Journey (-12.7 percent), Jeep Compass (-14.1 percent) and Maserati Quattroporte (-17.1 percent).