Low Gas prices = Low interest in Hybrids? ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Low Gas prices = Low interest in Hybrids?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Low Gas prices = Low interest in Hybrids?

Hybrids and subcompact cars are experiencing a significant drop in 'searches' over at cars.com from last month for the second month in a row, while searches for SUVs and other large vehicles are rising.

While gas prices remain relatively low, it's likely that interest in larger vehicles will continue to increase, while more efficient (hybrids) and smaller vehicles get less interest. When cars.com took a look at the past months searches the number of people interested in the Honda CR-V, for instance, had increased 72%.

What I'd like to see is a comparison to last years numbers, not just last months. As with car sales, the change in interest could be seasonal, so looking month to month, while interesting, doesn't tell the same story. Perhaps (and I'm just making this up), consumers are more interested in larger cars as we head into the winter months?

I spotted this story over at autobloggreen.

Source for press release: reviewjournal.com -- PR Newswire Press Releases

Searches for Large SUVs on Cars.com Continue to Rebound as Gas Prices Decline

CHICAGO, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Large, truck-based SUVs continue to see
an increase in search activity on Cars.com as gasoline prices fall to their
lowest level in nearly a year. According to the most recent Cars.com
Consumer Search Index, cars like the Nissan Armada, Jeep Commander and
Infiniti QX56 topped the list of vehicles experiencing the largest increase
in searches last month.
For the second month in a row, subcompact cars and hybrid vehicles --
which were some of the most popular cars a few months ago -- top the list
of cars experiencing the largest decline in searches.
"At this point, it seems like some of those searches are translating
into sales, as most automakers reported upticks in truck and SUV sales,"
said Patrick Olsen, Cars.com's managing editor. "It will be interesting to
see if SUV sales keep their momentum as we head into 2007."
Vehicle Searches (October)
Models with the most searches performed on Cars.com.

Top New-Car Searches Top Used-Car Searches
1 Honda Civic 1 Honda Civic
2 Toyota Camry 2 Honda Accord
3 Honda Accord 3 Ford Mustang
4 Acura MDX 4 BMW 325
5 Honda CR-V 5 Toyota Camry
6 BMW 325 6 Ford F-150
7 Toyota Corolla 7 Toyota Tacoma
8 Toyota RAV4 8 Toyota Corolla
9 Chevrolet Silverado 9 Chevrolet Corvette
10 Ford Mustang 10 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Search Increases (September - October)
Models with the largest increase in the number of searches performed on

Top New-Car Search Increases Top Used-Car Search Increases
1 Honda CR-V 72% 1 GMC 2500 25%
2 Jeep Wrangler 22% 2 Nissan Armada 24%
3 Chevrolet Silverado 15% 3 Jeep Commander 20%
4 Acura MDX 15% 4 Lincoln Aviator 18%
5 Acura TL 9% 5 Chrysler 300C 18%
6 Dodge Charger 8% 6 Infiniti QX56 18%
7 Jeep Grand Cherokee 7% 7 Acura MDX 17%
8 Infiniti G35 5% 8 Chevrolet 3500 17%
9 Dodge Ram 3% 9 Cadillac DTS 16%
10 Nissan 350Z 2% 10 Volkswagen Touareg 16%

Search Decreases (September - October)
Models with the largest decrease in the number of searches performed on

Top New-Car Search Decreases Top Used-Car Search Decreases
1 Nissan Versa 28% 1 Honda Insight 26%
2 Toyota Yaris 24% 2 Toyota Echo 25%
3 Toyota Prius 22% 3 Toyota Yaris 19%
4 Honda Civic 16% 4 Geo Metro 18%
5 Volkswagen Jetta 16% 5 Nissan Versa 17%
6 Toyota Camry 16% 6 Volkswagen Cabrio 17%
7 Toyota Corolla 16% 7 Toyota Prius 16%
8 Chevrolet Cobalt 12% 8 Toyota Camry Solara 15%
9 Hyundai Sonata 11% 9 Jeep CJ-7 15%
10 Scion tC 11% 10 Cadillac Catera 14%

Top Dealer Email Inquiries (October)

New Cars Yielding the Used Cars Yielding the Most Dealer
Most Dealer Inquiries Inquiries
1 Honda Civic (2006) 1 Honda Accord (2003)
2 Toyota Camry (2006) 2 Honda Civic (2000)
3 Toyota RAV4 (2006) 3 Infiniti G35 (2003)
4 Honda Accord (2006) 4 Ford F-150 (2004)
5 Toyota Sienna (2006) 5 Honda Accord (2002)
6 Honda Odyssey (2006) 6 Ford Mustang (2003)
7 Toyota Corolla (2006) 7 Honda Civic (1999)
8 Honda CR-V (2006) 8 Ford Mustang (2004)
9 Toyota Tacoma (2006) 9 Honda Civic (2002)
10 Honda Pilot (2006) 10 Volkswagen Jetta (2003)

Top Cars Listed for Sale by Owner (October)

1 Honda Accord
2 Ford Mustang
3 Chevrolet Corvette
4 Ford F-150
5 Ford Explorer
6 Honda Civic
7 Jeep Grand Cherokee
8 Dodge Ram
9 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
10 Porsche 911

About the Cars.com Consumer Search Index
The Cars.com Consumer Search Index offers a comprehensive look at the
internet search behavior of Cars.com visitors. The statistical information
is compiled by tracking the more than 8.3 million unique visitors that log
on to Cars.com each month and the vehicles that are most popular. The lists
are based off a minimum of 10,000 searches for new cars and 15,000 searches
for used cars. Dealer inquiries measure the volume of emails consumers send
to dealers seeking information about a particular vehicle. The information
is supported by expert analysis from the Cars.com editorial staff.
More statistical information to support automotive-related stories is
available upon request. Please contact Steve Nolan directly at
About Cars.com
Partnered with more than 200 leading metro newspapers, television
stations and their websites, Cars.com is the most comprehensive destination
for those looking to buy or sell a new or used car. The site lists more
than 1.8 million vehicles from 12,000 dealer customers, classified
advertisers and private parties to offer consumers the best selection of
new and used cars online, as well as the content, tools and advice to
support their shopping experience. Recently selected by Forbes.com as a
Best of the Web site for car shopping, Cars.com combines powerful inventory
search tools and new-car configuration with pricing information, photo
galleries, buying guides, side-by-side comparison tools, original editorial
content and reviews to help millions of car shoppers connect with sellers
each month.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures,
LLC, ( http://classifiedventures.com ), which is owned by leading media
companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The
McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) and The
Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).

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