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Hyundai Leads CPO Consumer Interest on AutoTrader.com

November 01, 2011

ATLANTA — AutoTrader.com’s latest Used/CPO Car Insights Report indicated that Hyundai captured five of the top 20 spots for certified pre-owned "Big Movers" on the Website in September.

To qualify as a "big mover," a vehicle must show significant increases in consumer interest month over month, according to the Website. The CPO Hyundai Elantra increased its share of consumer interest on the site by 31.2 percent in September, marking the second biggest month-over-month move on the site. Following the Elantra were the Hyundai Tucson with a 27.1 percent increase, the Hyundai Genesis with a 24.4 percent increase, the Hyundai Santa Fe with a 17.7 percent increase and the Hyundai Sonata with a 17.3 percent increase.

Toyota and Honda remained strong on the CPO front, however, capturing a combined six out of 20 spots on the list of most-viewed CPO vehicles in September, according to AutoTrader.com. Of those, there were four Toyota Models: the Toyota Tundra at No. 4, the Toyota Tacoma at No. 5, the Toyota Camry at No. 8 and the Toyota Highlander at No. 17. Honda’s Accord and Civic models came in at No. 2 and No. 13, respectively.

"With their inclusion on the list of most-viewed CPO cars in September, Toyota and Honda are still very strong players in the market," said Rick Wainschel, vice president of automotive insights at AutoTrader.com. "However, the reason we watch the big movers on the site is because they can surface interesting early trends, and seeing one automaker dominate the list — particularly one that has made ongoing advances in terms of product quality, innovative programs and overall sales — is certainly telling."

By segment, luxury cars captured the biggest share of interest from consumers shopping for both used (non-CPO) and CPO vehicles on the site, according to Edmunds.com. BMW's 3 Series was the most popular pre-owned luxury car on the site, showing up at No. 1 on the CPO list and No. 3 on the non-CPO list.

In addition to the 3 Series, BMW had two other vehicles on the list of most-viewed used vehicles: the BMW 5 Series at No. 18 and the BMW M Series at No. 19. On the list of most-viewed CPO vehicles, BMW’s X Series was at No. 9 and the 5 Series was at No. 12.  

Asking prices for used and CPO cars have been increasing steadily over the past year, pushed up by various economic factors, including supply and demand issues, fuel prices and supply-side issues in the new-car market. While an in-depth month-over-month analysis shows that prices have started to level off and even decrease for numerous models, prices for the majority of used and CPO vehicles are still higher than they were a year ago.

In September, 10 out of the top 20 most-viewed used cars and 17 out of the top 20 most-viewed CPO cars showed year-over-year increases in median asking price, with the Honda Civic and Honda Accord standing out on each list, according to Edmunds.com. The used Honda Civic's asking price increased 14.8 percent ($1,924) year over year, while the used Honda Accord's asking price increased 12.2 percent ($1,831) year over year.

On the CPO front, The Honda Civic's price increased 9.6 percent ($1,542) and the Honda Accord's price increased 10.2 percent ($1,825).

"Like Toyota, Honda has some ground to make up on the new-car front, but its ever popular Civic and Accord are still in high demand and are commanding notably higher premiums this year," Wainschel said. "As the economic challenges that influenced major price changes earlier in the year subside, consumers will have to keep an eye on the gaps between new and used vehicle prices so they can make the best decision that is right for them."

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