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Toyota Woes Impact Consumer Interest for Its New Vehicles

March 1, 2010

CHICAGO — As Congress continues to investigate the potential safety concerns that sparked recent Toyota recalls, consumer interest in popular new Toyota cars and trucks continues to slide on Cars.com.

The Camry, which had the largest share of consumer contacts to dealers for midsized sedans during the Cash for Clunkers program, now ranks 5th behind the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion.

"It's clear that the constant government and media scrutiny of safety issues with the various recalled Toyota products has affected which vehicles consumers are considering on Cars.com," said Patrick Olsen, Cars.com’s editor in chief. "What remains to be seen is how much damage has been done and which manufacturer will be the beneficiary of Toyota's current troubles."

In the midsized sedan category, Hyundai has benefited both from Toyota's problems as well as from an aggressive marketing program that included advertising in the Super Bowl to boost consumer interest in their newly redesigned Sonata. The Sonata, which ranked 8th in the midsized sedan category before the Toyota's recall now ranks 2nd.

Prior to the recall, the Toyota Corolla ranked near the top of new compact cars in terms of the amount of consumer contacts to dealers. The Corolla was neck and neck with the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta before the recall, but post-recall, the Corolla now ranks 8th among compact cars on Cars.com.

When it comes to full-sized pickup trucks, the Tundra hit a peak in May 2009 when it commanded 17 percent of the consumer contacts to dealers through Cars.com. After the recall, the Tundra's share on Cars.com has dropped by more than half, to 8 percent.


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