Autobytel Announces Most Requested Cars for First Quarter: Accord, Altima, Camry, Civic and Silverado Top List.Business Editors/Automotive Writers
IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 14, 2003
New Models/Redesigns Score Big With Online Car Buyers;
Passenger Cars Easily Outpace Trucks
Autobytel Inc. (NASDAQ NASDAQ
in full National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations
U.S. market for over-the-counter securities. Established in 1971 by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), NASDAQ is an automated quotation system that reports on : ABTL ABTL Association Belge des Technologues de Laboratoire ), the Internet's largest new car buying service, today announced the vehicles that were requested most by the company's online car buyers during the first sales quarter of 2003, shedding light on several unfolding online buying trends. New models and enhancements, for example, made a big splash Big Splash could refer to:
Internet Sales Strong Despite Industry Downturn
The first quarter highlighted many key differences between online car buyers and traditional buyers. First and foremost, despite the well publicized pre-war and wartime industry downturn, online auto shoppers are still shopping -- and buying -- at a brisk pace. One out of three of all U.S. Internet users visited an auto site in February(2). During that month -- one of the worst for the industry in five years -- visits to Autobytel websites rose 95%(3) year over year. And, as industry car sales dropped 4.4% in the first quarter year over year, the number of sales generated for dealers through Autobytel held steady(4).
Chevrolet Silverado, Honda Accord The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. , Honda Civic The Honda Civic is a compact car manufactured by Honda. It was introduced in July 1972 as a two-door coupe, followed by a three-door hatchback version that September. With the transverse engine placement of its 1169 cc engine and front-wheel drive, like the British Mini, the , Nissan Altima
The Altima (pronounced ALL-timah) is a mid-size car (formerly compact) currently being manufactured by the Japanese automaker Nissan, and is arguably a continuation of the and Toyota Camry The Toyota Camry is a mid-size sedan assembled by Toyota in Georgetown, Kentucky; Altona, Victoria, Guangzhou, China and the original factory in Toyota City, Japan. In some markets, the top range Camry models are seen as executive cars. (5) Are Most Requested Vehicles by Online Buyers
The Nissan Altima, the 2002 Overall Consumer Choice winner, is once again in the running for top honors. The redesigned Honda Accord has also emerged as a very popular contender, as have the recently redesigned Camry and the upgraded Silverado. This preference for new or redesigned models (the Altima underwent a dramatic redesign in 2002) suggests that online consumers are responding very favorably to enhancements made by the automakers to boost top-selling vehicles.
Cadillac, Ford, Hummer, Infiniti, MINI, Volvo(5) Reap Big Gains in Online Vehicle Purchase Requests
The front-runners in the year-over-year growth category underscore the attractiveness of new model enhancements in the first quarter. Four out of the top six brands that achieved the biggest percentage gains in online vehicle Purchase Requests in the first quarter feature popular new models: the Hummer H2, Infiniti G Infiniti G refers to entry-level automobiles in Nissan's Infiniti marque, which use the letter "G" as a model identifier:
New Models and Redesigns Well Received Across Categories
The Internet shopper's responsiveness to new vehicle designs and features plays out across several categories. In the compact category, for example, the Toyota Matrix The Toyota Matrix or called Corolla Matrix is a compact hatchback manufactured by Toyota in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada and sold in North America.
The Matrix is the Toyota version of a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors; the GM version is the Pontiac and Pontiac Vibe The Pontiac Vibe is a car produced in Fremont, California, in the United States by NUMMI (New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc), a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota. are giving traditional leaders Toyota Corolla The Toyota Corolla is a compact car produced by the Japanese automaker Toyota, which has become very popular throughout the world since the nameplate was first introduced in 1966. In 1997, the Corolla became the bestselling car in the world, with over 30 million sold as of 2007. , Volkswagen New Beetle The Volkswagen New Beetle is a compact car introduced by Volkswagen in 1998, drawing heavily on the design cues of the original Beetle. Based on a Volkswagen Golf, the "retro" design proved to be more successful in some markets than in others. and Chevrolet Cavalier a run for their money. The new Volvo XC90 and Acura MDX The Acura MDX (Honda MDX in Japan and Australia) is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV produced by the Japanese automaker Acura since the 2001 model year. The MDX is the first crossover SUV to have third-row seating. It is built by Honda of Canada Manufacturing Ltd. , meanwhile, ranked among the five most requested luxury vehicles.
GM, Ford and Dodge Still Rule Truck Category
A quick look at the overall Q1 sales leaders reveals that online shoppers are making some very different buying decisions than their traditional counterparts, with a pronounced online trend toward passenger cars (more below). In the truck category, however, online and offline shoppers are closely aligned in their preference for domestic trucks over import trucks -- with traditional favorites Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado dueling it out, once again, for top honors. Overall, only one import, the Toyota Tacoma The Toyota Tacoma is a compact pickup truck manufactured by the Toyota Motor Company since 1995. It is essentially the Toyota Hilux modified and rebadged for North America. The second-generation Tacoma was Motor Trend Magazine's Truck of the Year for 2005. , ranked among Autobytel's 10 most requested trucks.
Passenger Cars Outpace SUVs
A particularly interesting finding this quarter is the relative popularity of passenger cars over trucks/SUVs among online shoppers. During the first quarter, nearly 70% of the sales volume driven by the five top-selling vehicles in America was attributable to trucks -- yet trucks only represented 23% of the order volume generated by Autobytel's top five vehicles. (Fifty-eight percent of the sales volume for the top 10 sellers in America was driven by trucks -- vs. only 38% for Autobytel's 10 most requested vehicles.)
New SUV Incentives Make Late-Model SUVs Affordable -- and Popular
Used SUVs are scoring big on the Internet, as aggressive Big 3 incentives on new trucks and SUVs cause their late-model counterparts to depreciate depreciate v. in accounting, to reduce the value of an asset each year theoretically on the basis that the assets (such as equipment, vehicles or structures) will eventually become obsolete, worn out and of little value. (See: depreciation) -- often markedly -- resulting in good values for buyers. Three of the top five used vehicle model/years are Big 3 SUVs (six out of the top 10 overall) -- this in a category traditionally dominated online by import sedans. Notably, five of Autobytel's top 10 most popular used vehicle model/years are Fords.
Civic Hybrid and Jetta TDI TDI - Transport Driver Interface Illustrate Consumer Preference for Fuel-Efficient Versions of Popular Models
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A hybrid vehicle (HV) is a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to propel the vehicle such as:
For the 2003 model of the Civic, Honda added a continuously variable transmission and an Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system similar to -- which was the dominant force behind the Autobytel Q1 hybrid spike.
The Civic's strong showing supports a recent Autobytel website survey that reported a strong consumer preference for hybrid versions of currently popular models. The survey, coupled with significant online interest in hybrids, suggests that a significant rise in U.S. hybrid sales (already up 50% industry-wide in Q1) may be just around the corner, as major automakers prepare to roll out hybrid-powered versions of several of their established, popular models. Ford has plans to introduce the Escape Hybrid later this year, and GM is developing hybrid versions of the Chevy Malibu sedan (for 2006) and the Equinox equinox (ē`kwĭnŏks), either of two points on the celestial sphere where the ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect. The vernal equinox, also known as "the first point of Aries," is the point at which the sun appears to cross the (for 2007). An advanced hybrid system will be available in the Saturn VUE beginning in 2005. Lexus plans to unveil the first luxury-branded hybrid, the RX330, in 2005.
The popularity of the diesel Volkswagen Jetta TDI (49 mph/hwy), another big year-over-year mover in Autobytel's fuel economy category, further confirms consumers' willingness to adopt non-traditional, fuel-efficient options of popular models. It may also signal revived interest in diesel-powered vehicles.
2003 Q1 Autobytel Consumer Choice Awards Leaders (Listed alphabetically, not by Purchase Request volume) Overall Most Requested New Vehicles Chevrolet Silverado Honda Accord Honda Civic Nissan Altima Toyota Camry Overall Increase Vehicle Requests Q1 2002 - Q1 2003 Cadillac Ford Hummer Infiniti MINI Overall Most Requested Used Vehicles 2000 Ford Explorer 2002 Ford Explorer 1999 Honda Accord 2000 Honda Accord 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Most Requested New Passenger Cars BMW 3 Series Honda Accord Nissan Altima Toyota Camry Volkswagen Jetta Sedan Most Requested New Trucks Chevrolet Silverado Dodge Ram Ford F-150 GMC Sierra Toyota Tacoma Most Requested New Sports Cars Acura 3.2CL Ford Mustang Infiniti G35MINI Cooper Nissan 350Z Most Requested New Luxury Cars Acura MDX Cadillac Escalade Lexus ES Mercedes-Benz E Volvo XC90 Most Requested New Economy Cars Chevrolet Cavalier Pontiac Vibe Toyota Corolla Toyota Matrix Volkswagen New Beetle Most Requested New Minivans Chrysler Town & Country Dodge Caravan Dodge Grand Caravan Honda Odyssey Toyota Sienna Most Requested Fuel Economy Vehicles Honda Civic Hybrid Toyota ECHO Toyota Prius Volkswagen Jetta (TDI) Volkswagen Jetta Wagon (TDI)
About Autobytel Inc.
Autobytel Inc. (NASDAQ: ABTL), a leading Internet automotive marketing services company, helps retailers sell cars and manufacturers build brands through marketing, advertising and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) An integrated information system that is used to plan, schedule and control the presales and postsales activities in an organization. (customer relationship management) programs. The company owns and operates the automotive websites Autobytel.com, Autoweb.com, Carsmart.com and popular automotive research center, AutoSite.com, as well as AIC AIC Association des Infermières Canadiennes. (Automotive Information Center), a leading provider of automotive marketing data and technology. Autobytel Inc. is the Internet's largest new-car buying service and, in 2002, generated over a billion dollars a month in car sales for dealers through its services. Autobytel Inc. is also among the largest syndicated car-buying content networks, reaching millions of unique visitors as they are making their vehicle buying decisions. Autobytel Inc. content and technology has potential exposure to over 94 percent of the active Digital Media Universe(6).
(1) Online car buyers submit vehicle Purchase Requests through Autobytel to local dealers, once they intend to buy a specific vehicle. The 2003 Autobytel Consumer Choice Awards will be based on the volume of vehicle Purchase Requests submitted (with an intent to buy) by online shoppers through Autobytel's network throughout the sales year.
(2) comScore Media Metrix Press Release 3/20/2003.
(3) Year-over-year in January '03, Nielsen/NetRatings.
(4) As measured by Autobytel surveys.
(5) Vehicles listed in alphabetical order -- either by model or brand name. They are NOT ranked according to Purchase Request volume.
(6) Nielsen/NetRatings Q4 2002 Digital Media Universe Report (Autobytel Inc. is the unduplicated audience of the Autobytel, Autoweb.com, CarSmart and Autosite.com Brands. Autobytel Inc. provides content to the Yahoo!, AOL (A division of Time Warner, Inc., New York, NY, www.aol.com) The world's largest online information service with access to the Internet, e-mail, chat rooms and a variety of databases and services. and MSN (1) (MicroSoft Network) A family of Internet-based services from Microsoft, which includes a search engine, e-mail (Hotmail), instant messaging (Windows Live Messaging) and a general-purpose portal with news, information and shopping (MSN Directory). portals and various automotive manufacturers' sites. The unduplicated audience of these Brands has an active reach of over 94 percent of the Digital Media Universe.)