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NADAguides Report: Consumer Interest Shifting to Korean, Japanese Manufacturers

August 12, 2011

COSTA MESA, Calif. — According to the NADAguides’s Consumer Market Interest Report for the second quarter, consumers are showing a strong interest in Korean and Japanese models. The 2011 Hyundai Sonata, for instance, was the most researched vehicle during the reporting period, with consumer interest up 49 percent.

Also grabbing consumers in the second quarter were the 2011 Ford F-150, 2011 Toyota Camry, 2011 Nissan Altima and the 2011 Kia Sorento. Interest in the Camry and Altima, however, shot up by 47 percent and 161 percent, respectively, pushing the two models into the top five most researched vehicles list after Ford and Korean models grabbed the most attention in the first quarter.

"Our analysts predict it will only be a matter of time before the domestic brands lose their top ranking as the most researched on NADAguides.com,” said Troy Snyder, director of product development, NADAguides. “With vehicles like the Hyundai Sonata overtaking the Ford F-150 and the Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima increasing in consumer interest by such large spreads, we think this might even be realized within the 2011 calendar year.”

The 2011 Ford Explorer and the 2011 Ford Mustang were the only two vehicles in the second quarter to completely fall out of their top five positions from the previous quarter. Consumer interest in the Explorer decreased by almost 30 percent, but that was after Ford rolled out a heavy marketing campaign to drive up interest in its SUV. Consumer interest in the Mustang dropped by only 1.7 percent.

“With speculation that fuel prices would reach $5, we expected to see smaller, more fuel efficient models in the top five during Q2 2011. Looking ahead, we anticipate that light truck values will do well during the upcoming quarter primarily due to the stability in gas prices and very low used supply,” said Jonathan Banks, automotive analyst, NADA Used Car Guide. “We were already anticipating a 6 percent increase in truck and SUV prices from used supply alone. If the current gas price situation continues there may be room for prices to increase even more.”

Although no European models made the NADAguides.com top five list in the second quarter, models such as the 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman and the 2012 Fiat 500 are expected to see substantial growth and consumer interest as availability opens up across the country during the third quarter.

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