NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ford ranked highest in Dataium’s Automotive Shopper Intensity index, while Toyota’s Camry and Prius models rank highest among all new vehicles. The index, which predicts new-vehicle retail sales, also showed that sales in April increased nearly 10 percent from 2011.

The index also showed that sales were up 10 percent from last year, while the annual sales rate paced a 5 percent higher clip than April 2011. But the company did note the drag luxury vehicle sales on the annual sales rate.

“Although the overall SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate) number was almost 5 percent higher than April 2011 and we expect to see continued growth over the broader market, luxury brands continue to drag the retail SAAR down about 2 percent from the previous month,” read the report. For the first time this year, Ford received the highest ASI monthly ranking of all manufacturers, with leads for the domestic automaker more than doubling from the previous month. Japanese car maker Toyota dropped one ranking to the No. 2 spot, while Chevrolet remained in the third position for the second month in a row.

“Although April brought a 20 percent monthly drop in both searches and visitors for Chevrolet, their leads jumped significantly from March, suggesting stronger sales volumes for the brand in the upcoming weeks,” the report stated. Looking at new-vehicle models, Toyota's winning streak continued for the third straight month with both the Toyota Camry and the Toyota Prius receiving the highest rankings.

“A combination of Toyota's recent marketing campaigns which include low interest financing, and the fuel efficiency of both models have helped keep the brand’s momentum and consumer interest high,” noted Eric Brown, CEO of Dataium. This should positively impact sales for the brand as we move into the peak summer selling months."

Despite record retail sales in April, the index showed the Nissan Rogue having the most dramatic ASI change of all new vehicles, declining by 9 percent from March. In addition to the Rogue, the Hyundai Sonata also had significant ASI declines while the Chevrolet Camaro’s ASI score increased the most from the previous month.

Through proprietary data collection and analytics, Dataium aggregates and measures billions of auto shopper behavioral events from a database of more than 100 million active auto shoppers across a network of diverse automotive websites. For more information, click here.