Chicago—December 2, 2005—New incentive programs from Ford, General Motors and Chrysler combined with declining gasoline prices to launch a rebound in consumer search activity for domestic SUVs and trucks, according to the latest Cars.com Consumer Search Index.
Ford, GM and Chrysler cars and trucks make up a majority of the new and used vehicles that saw the largest search increases on Cars.com in November, with the newly released Ford Fusion sedan topping both lists. The consumer response on Cars.com to the new Ford Fusion is consistent with other auto industry analyst findings.
"The consumer search activity for domestic cars and trucks is similar to what we saw during the last round of discounts as consumers have become accustomed to waiting for manufacturer incentives to buy new cars," said Cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder. "The increased search activity for trucks and SUVs also shows us how quickly consumers forget about the recent pain at the pump."
Searches for popular fuel-efficient vehicles like the Toyota Prius again saw a significant decline month over month as gasoline prices continued to decline. The Prius — which has been among the top 10 most-searched vehicles on Cars.com in previous months — continues to populate the list of largest used-car search decreases. Other fuel-efficient vehicles continuing to decline after gaining significantly in previous months include the Honda Insight, Geo Metro and Toyota Echo.
Despite search declines, fuel-efficient vehicles still dominate in terms of consumer quote requests emailed to dealers, a strong sign that fuel economy is still a key consideration for purchases. Honda's fuel-efficient models, most notably the Honda Civic, drove more email inquiries to dealers than any other used vehicle.
The Cars.com Consumer Search Index offers a comprehensive look at the internet search behavior of Cars.com visitors. The statistical information is compiled by tracking the more than 6 million unique visitors that log on to Cars.com each month and the vehicles that are most popular. The lists are based off a minimum of 4,000 searches for any given vehicle. Dealer inquiries measure the volume of emails consumers send to dealers seeking information about a particular vehicle. The information is supported by expert analysis from the Cars.com editorial staff. More statistical information to support automotive-related 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).