ATLANTA — The October New Car Insights Report from AutoTrader.com’s Trend Engine shows that new car shoppers are starting to turn their attention to the luxury segment, pointing to a pent up demand that may be unleashed in the near future if consumer confidence in the economy increases.
Luxury Vehicles Dominate List of New Car “Big Movers” in October
In examining the “Big Movers” on the AutoTrader.com site that have gained significant increases in consumer interest month-over-month, the predominant trend was that luxury vehicles accounted for 10 out of 20 vehicles on the list. Five of the luxury vehicles on the list were SUVs, with three from the Land Rover brand. The Range Rover Evoque, recently named Motor Trend’s 2012 SUV of the Year, was the biggest mover on the site, leaping an impressive 273 spots to No. 36. Two other Land Rover SUVs, the Range Rover Sport and LR4 also made big moves, increasing 99 and 25 spots, respectively. No other luxury automaker claimed as many spots on the list as Land Rover.
On the luxury car front, the Hyundai Genesis was an impressive addition to the “Big Movers” list, moving up 67 spots month-over-month to No. 31. Interest in the Genesis was likely fueled by a $1500 incentive Hyundai placed on the model beginning October 1. This incentive may signal Hyundai’s attempt to capitalize on the pent up demand in the luxury segment, according to AutoTrader.com analysts.
Luxury Segments also on the Rise
The luxury story signaled by the “Big Movers” was supported by a look at segment-level activity on the site in October. While full-size trucks took the top spot in the ranking of the segments, the luxury segments made the biggest waves from September to October.
Month-over-month, the luxury car segment increased 0.8 points in share of new car interest, and the luxury SUV segment increased 0.6 points. In addition to the Hyundai Genesis, the Mercedes Benz C-Class also showed a significant increase of share of consumer interest in October, continuing on the upward trajectory that began in September 2011. Other luxury cars on an upward trend in October were the Cadillac CTS, the BMW 3 Series and 5 Series and the Lexus IS.
“The strong movement of luxury vehicles on the site in October points to a silver lining in the black clouds of the economy,” said AutoTrader.com’s Vice President of Automotive Insights, Rick Wainschel. “Consumers appear to be ready to get back to enjoying some of the finer things in life, and as their confidence increases, we could soon see the luxury segment realizing the benefits of this pent up demand.”
Additional Insights from the New Car Insights Report
- A few new model entries in the compact car segment, particularly the Hyundai Veloster, Chevrolet Sonic and Volkswagen Beetle, made big moves in October and contributed to a slight uptick in the segment.
- Midsize cars may be poised for a comeback, led by increasing interest in the Toyota Camry, Volkswagen Passat and Kia Optima.
- Chrysler Group’s progress over the last year resulted in positive momentum for vehicles in numerous segments.
- Trucks and SUVs edged out compact and midsize sedans in the list of most-viewed vehicles year-over-year.
- Kia Optima rocketed onto the list of most-viewed vehicles in October.
- Median asking prices were up substantially for recently redesigned vehicles; with consumer interest still strong despite price increases.
- Some Korean cars were commanding significantly higher asking prices year-over-year.
For more in-depth analysis and downloadable tables and charts, access the complete New Car Insights Report here http://www.multivu.com/assets/53213/documents/New-Car-Insights-Report-Oct-2011-Final-original.pdf.
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