Despite Falling Interest, Toyota Still Tops New-Car Searches

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Through January, Toyota is still the most-searched brand among new-car shoppers on However, the automaker’s share of that search is falling, and falling fast since the recall announcement for sticky accelerator pedals on Jan. 22.

Before the recall announcement, Toyota’s share of new-car searches in January was 12% of all new-car searches. The next closest brands were Chevrolet with 9.9% and Ford with 8.1%. After the recall, Toyota’s share fell to 10.6% of all searches. Chevrolet fell a small amount to 9.4%, but Ford saw searches rise to 8.7%. New-car searches overall rose 0.3%, likely due to end-of-the-month shoppers.

During this same time, Lexus and Scion search traffic remained relatively flat.

Only one brand showed improvement significantly greater than the overall average. Hyundai saw searches rise from 3.0% to 4.0% during the period after Toyota’s recall.  No other currently operating brands – defunct Pontiac saw its search share dip from 2.1% to 0.9% over this time period – experienced dips as severe as Toyota.  

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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