There are many factors that have been influencing customers’ car shopping habits. Layoffs and unemployment are the obvious reasons people are not spending money on cars as they used to do. Families are now having to crunch numbers in their budgets just to pay their bills.
Gas prices have never been higher and even natural disasters have caused a shift in priorities and how people spend their money. Even the production of popular model cars have majorly decreased.
Each month, AutoTrader.com's Trend Engine report shares what the most-searched vehicles on the site are. They also bring awareness about what may be provoking changes in popularity of certain model cars. AutoTrader.com even shares reasoning for changes in asking prices for vehicles on the market.
Over the past year, AutoTrader.com has come up with an interesting factor that influenced what cars are most searched on their website. Because of the major increase in gas prices, people have turned their interest to smaller and more fuel efficient cars. Since gas prices took an ever-so-small dip over the last little while, people, according to AutoTrader.com, have been going back to looking and researching new large trucks and sports utility vehicles.
August 2011 seemed to be big month for new car searches on trucks and SUVs. Data from AutoTrader.com in August showed a rise in interest in bigger cars and a decline in interest for smaller and mid-sized cars.
These particular smaller cars have been less searched in August 2011 than they were in July 2011: the new Ford Focus, the new Hyundai Sonata, the new Volkswagen Jetta, and the new Chevrolet Cruze. As for the larger cars and trucks that have been more searched in August 2011 than in July 2011 were the: The new Dodge Ram 1500, the new Ford F-250, new Chevrolet Silverado 2500, and the new Ford F-350 made the biggest impression. SUVs searched more in August 2011 than in July 2011 were the new Chevrolet Tahoe and the new Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Not on the most searched list for 2011 that were on the list in 2010 were the Honda Accord, Honda Civic and Toyota Camry. The tsunami and earthquake in Japan are what are being blamed for the decrease in the searches for these cars on AutoTrader.com. Due to declining inventory levels and market share since the dual natural disasters, this majorly upset and halted production of these brands.
According to a press release, Rick Wainschel, vice president of automotive insights at AutoTrader.com made this statement: "Despite the production issues facing Toyota and Honda, the strength of these brands and popularity of those models remains evident in the searches conducted on AutoTrader.com. The Accord, Civic and Camry have long been among American's favorite cars, and we expect them to remain viable competitors in the small and mid-size segments."