Hyundai, Ford Increase Share of Market Interest on Kbb.com as Toyota, Honda Decline

Korean, Certain Domestic Brands Continue to Show Strong Consumer Interest as Mainstay Japanese Brands Falter

Jun 28, 2010, 05:00 ET from Kelley Blue Book

IRVINE, Calif., June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information, today announces the results of the latest analysis by Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence of recent kbb.com Web traffic patterns, including the top five upward-climbing and downward-declining brands in share of market interest for May 2010 when compared to May 2009.  Hyundai and Ford showed a significant increase in share of market interest during the same time dominant brands Toyota and Honda showed a significant decrease in share of market interest.

Top Five Upward Climbers

Top Five Downward Decliners

1.  Hyundai

1.  Toyota

2.  Ford

2.  Honda

3.  GMC

3.  Pontiac

4.  Kia

4.  Dodge

5.  Subaru

5.  Lexus



Hyundai's share of new-car shopper activity has increased 70 percent from May 2009 to May 2010, and the brand now holds 6 percent of the total new-car shopping activity on kbb.com (up from just 4.6 percent in January 2010).  Hyundai's ongoing success largely is due to the popularity of its newly redesigned Sonata and Tucson models, which have seen heavy marketing support and consumer interest since the beginning of the year.  

Ford accounts for 10 percent of all new-car shopper activity on kbb.com, and its traffic in May 2010 was fueled by consumer interest in the brand's Super Duty trucks and the popular Mustang, which experienced increased exposure due to Ford's new ad campaign touting the fuel efficiency of the 2011 model.  The all-new Fiesta subcompact also significantly contributed to Ford's increase in kbb.com traffic.  

Kia's share of new-car shopper activity has increased 38 percent from May 2009 to May 2010, and the brand currently ranks 13th out of 37 on kbb.com.  While Kia heavily touts the Soul with its popular 'Hamster' ad campaign, traffic to the brand's Sorento and Forte models actually were the key drivers to Kia's upward climb in status for May 2010.  

GMC vehicles have seen steadily growing interest since the conclusion of 2009's Cash for Clunkers program, being led by the brand's popular Acadia and Terrain crossover models.  

In addition, sales success-story Subaru rounds-out the top five due to its balanced lineup and increased shopper interest in the brand's redesigned Outback and Legacy models, along with the popular Forester SUV.

"Many brands we see on the top five upward climbers and bottom five downward decliners list for May 2010 would have been shocking to many consumers and industry professionals if you would have shown them this data just a few years ago," said James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com.  "These results prove how great product supported by strong marketing, along with consumer confidence and excitement about the brand can alter shopper behavior in the relatively short course of only a year."

Meanwhile, even though Toyota still remains the leader in new-car shopper activity on kbb.com at 13 percent, its rough recall-filled year has contributed to a significant decline and narrowed lead for the brand when compared to this time last year, nearly leveling the playing field despite its current popular Sienna marketing campaign.  

Similarly, while Honda holds the second-most new-car shopper activity on kbb.com at 11 percent, the brand has seen steady declines in share of market interest over the past year due to waning interest in the aging Civic and steady fuel prices lessening the demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles such as the Insight hybrid.  

Consumer interest in Pontiac has tanked since the announcement of the brand's death, especially lead by steep declines for the brand's G8 model when comparing May last year to this year.  

As parent company Chrysler continues its brand transformation with the Fiat merger, Dodge still struggles to maintain a large share of market interest on kbb.com, with primary declines being seen in interest for the Challenger and Charger.  

While Lexus has been losing share since Toyota temporarily halted sales earlier this year due to the recall crisis, May 2010 marks its first foray onto the bottom five downward decliners list, being driven by a 25 percent decline in shopper activity for the brand's RX model when compared to this time last year.  

The information contained in this press release is from Kelley Blue Book Market Watch website traffic data from kbb.com from May 2009May 2010.

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)

Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, has provided vehicle buyers and sellers with the new and used vehicle information they need to accomplish their goals with confidence. The company's top-rated Web site, www.kbb.com, provides the most up-to-date pricing and values, including the New Car Blue Book® Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. The company also reports vehicle pricing and values via products and services, including software products and the famous Blue Book® Official Guide. According to the C.A. Walker Research Solutions, Inc. - 2009 Spring Automotive Web Site Usefulness Study, kbb.com is the most useful automotive information Web site among new and used vehicle shoppers, and half of online vehicle shoppers visit kbb.com. Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com also is a W3 Gold Award winner, sanctioned by the International Academy of Visual Arts. Kbb.com is a leading provider of new car prices, used car Blue Book Values, car reviews, new cars for sale, used cars for sale, and car dealer locations.

SOURCE Kelley Blue Book



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