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New Toyota Sienna Minivan Swaggers Into Top 5 on AutoTrader.com List of Most Viewed New Vehicles in June
Jul 12, 2010 (11:07 AM EDT)
Lower Gas Prices Make Fuel Efficient Vehicles an Endangered Species on Top 20 New, Used and CPO Lists
ATLANTA, July 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Toyota Sienna minivan rode a sleek new design and a clever marketing campaign featuring the nerdy-chic and sometimes-rapping "Sienna Family" to No. 5 on the list of the most-viewed new vehicles on AutoTrader.com in June. The Sienna had been at No. 43 on the most-viewed new vehicle list the previous month, May of 2010, and held the No. 50 spot on the list in June of 2009.
Toyota's multi-media campaign utilized mainstream media; on-line advertising, including a rich media campaign on AutoTrader.com; and viral videos, including the "Swagger Wagon" video clip that has been viewed almost 5 million times on YouTube. The campaign spoke effectively to the Sienna's target market of younger families with children and these tech savvy shoppers went on-line to sites like AutoTrader.com to get more information about the new vehicle and to view inventory at local dealerships.
"The Sienna campaign is a great example of a manufacturer, dealers and marketing working together to drive awareness and consideration of a new vehicle," said Chip Perry. "Combining a great design in the vehicle itself, a marketing campaign effectively utilizing new and traditional media and dealers effectively merchandising their inventory for people to see, the new Sienna has risen to the top of its target market's consideration set."
The new Acura TL luxury sedan made an even more impressive jump, going from the No. 143rd most-viewed new vehicle on AutoTrader.com in May 2010 to the No. 20 most-viewed new vehicle in June of this year. Acura also has been marketing their brand and specific vehicles aggressively in recent months and in June the TL was ranked second in initial quality in the "Entry Premium Car Segment" by J.D. Power and Associates.
New vehicle prices in June continued to improve compared to June 2009, with 16 of the top 20 most-viewed new vehicles on AutoTrader.com seeing average asking price increases in June compared to June last year.
Fuel Efficiency Out?
One major change in the AutoTrader.com top 20 new, used and certified pre-owned (CPO) lists was the almost total absence of cars aggressively marketed for their fuel efficiency. The Honda Civic appeared in the top 20 of all three lists and the Toyota Camry landed at No. 20 on the most-viewed used car top 20 list. But other than those two models, AutoTrader.com's most viewed lists in June were dominated by larger luxury cars and sedans, trucks, SUVs and sports and muscle cars.
With gas prices continuing to fall and the economy seemingly on the rebound, Americans seem to be turning to the larger and more powerful vehicles they favor when fuel costs are low.
"It's clear from our historical site data that when gas prices are high, Americans almost immediately begin looking at more fuel efficient cars and when gas prices go back down, the pattern reverses," said Perry. "This creates quite a challenge for manufacturers and dealers trying to figure out what cars to make and stock when those decisions have to be made months in advance when gas prices, as we've seen, can fluctuate so much so quickly."
On-line marketing, Perry notes, can help influence consumers to look at cars based on a variety of factors and allows manufacturers and dealers the flexibility to change messaging quickly to respond to changing economic conditions.
"If you're putting out a fuel-efficient car that's also got great styling and is affordable, right now may be the time to focus your messaging on the style and affordability because gas prices aren't such a concern for consumers right now," Perry says. "But when gas prices go back up – and we've seen that they can quickly – on-line marketing allows you to quickly change your message to appeal to that consumer need as it becomes more important."
Stability in the Used Car Market
With gas prices moderating and the economy on the rebound, AutoTrader.com's used car list is seeing a return to stability, with the top 11 most viewed cars in June holding the exact same positions they held in May and with used car prices generally trending up.
"Without the gas shocks and the negative economic news we've lived with the past few years, you see a return to the normal patterns of popularity with used cars," said Perry. "Used Ford Mustangs, Honda Accords, BMW 3-Series, Jeep Wranglers and other perennial favorites find their place on our list and stay there, not moving up or down too dramatically unless some extraordinary event causes a change in consumer behavior."
AutoTrader.com Traffic Exceeds 16 Million Uniques Again
Traffic to AutoTrader.com continued to be strong, with the site recording 16.03 million unique monthly visitors in June. Having hit an all time record of 16.8 million unique visitors in May, June's numbers represented the second consecutive month AutoTrader.com surpassed 16 million unique monthly visitors. June's traffic was up 2% compared to June 2010's total of 15.6 million unique monthly visitors.
AutoTrader.com, created in 1997 and headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is the Internet's leading automotive marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers. AutoTrader.com attracts more than 15 million unique monthly visitors who utilize the site to view vehicles for sale, research and compare vehicles, review pricing and specials, and read auto-related content like buying and selling tips, auto maintenance tips and coverage of major auto shows and automotive trends. Through innovative merchandising functionality such as multiple photos, videos, detailed descriptions and comprehensive research and compare tools, AutoTrader.com unites new and used car buyers and sellers online to improve the way people research, locate and advertise vehicles. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. The venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.
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