Chicago—September 1, 2005—With the national average of gasoline prices at more than $2.60 a gallon, consumer searches and inquiries to dealers for fuel-efficient vehicles have increased dramatically, according to the latest Cars.com Consumer Search Index, a monthly measure of internet search behavior on Cars.com and an indicator of future purchase behavior.
The Toyota Prius, one of the most popular hybrid vehicles on the market, has cracked the Top 10 in number of vehicle searches and dealer inquiries. Other vehicles showing significant increases in the number of searches include the Chevrolet/Geo Metro, Toyota Echo, Honda Insight and Scion xA. The Hummer H3, which is new to the market, is the only sport utility vehicle to see consumer searches increase over the last month.
Meanwhile, SUVs have seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of searches and quote requests sent to dealerships. The Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Envoy and Hummer H1 all made the list of declining consumer searches.
The Cars.com Consumer Search Index offers a comprehensive look at the internet search behavior of visitors to Cars.com. The statistical information is compiled by tracking the more than 6 million unique visitors who log on to Cars.com each month. The lists are based off a minimum of 4,000 searches for any given vehicle. Leads provided represent the number of people who emailed a dealer to inquire about purchasing a car. The information is supported by expert analysis from the Cars.com editorial staff. More statistical information to support automotive stories is available upon request. Please contact Steve Nolan directly at 312-601-5163.
Cars.com lists more than 1.4 million vehicles from 10,000 dealer customers, classified advertisers and private parties to offer consumers the best selection of new and used cars online, as well as the content, tools and advice to support their shopping experience. Cars.com combines powerful inventory search tools and new-car configuration with pricing information, photo galleries, buying guides, side-by-side comparison tools, original editorial content and reviews to help millions of consumers connect with sellers each month.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, (http://classifiedventures.com), which is owned by six leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Knight Ridder (NYSE: KRI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).