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Interest in Detroit Three vehicles on the grow

NADAguides said this week in its Brand Share Report that the Detroit Three were the only carmakers that showed growth in consumer interest on during the third quarter of 2011, boosting their overall consumer share by more than 10%.

Helping domestics achieve this increase was Chevrolet, which topped brand consumer interest on NADAguides during the third quarter. The analysts at NADAguides attribute this increase of Chevrolet brand interest to the Cruze and Silverado.

The Cruze has been gaining momentum month over month throughout the year. The Silverado has consistently remained near the top in terms of brand share and interest on all year long.

The Chevrolet Cruze (pictured) was the fifth most purchased car through the first nine months of 2011 and the Chevrolet Silverado was the second most purchased light vehicle and light truck, according to sales figures compiled by Automotive News.

“We continue to see the Big Three putting out great vehicles that meet consumer demands at all price points and with many more options at high mpg ratings," said Troy Snyder, director of product development for NADAguides. "Trends are expected to shift again as the year comes to a close and Japanese manufacturers are all nearly back to capacity production.”

During the second quarter, MINI and Fiat both saw the largest growth in brand share. They increased by 206% and 168%. In the third quarter, Fiat continued its surge and saw the largest increase in overall brand share, increasing by more than 68%, while consumer interest for MINI fell dramatically with one of the largest decreases in brand share during the third quarter as compared to the second quarter, dropping nearly 54%.

European brands saw the biggest decrease in consumer interest on during the third quarter, dropping by 14.9% as compared to the second quarter of 2011.

Chevrolet edged out Ford Motor Co. as the most-researched brand on NADAguides. Toyota was third, followed by Nissan and Honda.

Consumer interest in Nissan went down by more than 25% but remained popular enough to be fourth. Chevrolet owned 14.5% of overall consumer interest. After that it was Ford Motor, 13.3%; Toyota, 9.9%; Nissan, 6.29%; and Honda, 6.1%.

Consumer interest and sales on for Japanese brands decreased. Sales fell 1.7% and consumer brand interest decreased 2.5% in the quarter. Consumer brand interest for European and Korean brands dipped 14.9% and 7.7%.

You can reach TN's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.

Image source: Photo by TN's Hawke Fracassa