Toyota Sees Decline in Interest on Cars.com

Toyotachart
As Toyota’s recall woes continue, they have made a very real impact on how shoppers are acting on Cars.com. Consumer interaction with dealers has declined dramatically for several top-selling Toyota models after two recalls over the past few months.

In the all-important midsize sedan segment, the Camry was neck-and-neck with the Honda Accord in consumer contacts over the past year. But since the first recall (for floormats) in the fall, the Camry has dropped behind Accord, but it still led all other models. After the second recall in January, the Camry fell to fifth in consumer contacts.

Which car has benefited the most? Well, the Accord (also declining before the Toyota recall) shot upward and remains in first place. But the new Hyundai Sonata — which launched in January with an aggressive ad campaign, including several Super Bowl commercials — shot up from eighth place to second, followed by the Nissan Altima and the Ford Fusion.

The compact Corolla has fallen as well. Once in a close battle with the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta for first, the Corolla has now fallen to eighth in consumer contacts.

While the decline is clearly fueled by the current controversy, Toyota is also clearly in danger of losing the interest of today’s car shopper. In addition, the rising quality of Toyota’s competition could keep buyers from coming back the next time they’re in the market.

Comments 

Thomas

The poor Chevy Malibu does not even register on Cars.com interest scale. I think GM is in more trouble than people actually realize.

J

Don't worry, the fleet sales should be sufficient. (Sarcasm)

It should be interesting to see 2010 sales figures.

tscurt

I've driven over 800 Toyotas of all sorts in the last 3 1/2 years as part of my work. This is a perfect time for me to ask: anybody looking to get rid of their low mileage 2007-08 SE V6?

Carson P.

tscurt,
I was thinking I too may be able to pick-up a good deal on a Toyota. Unfortunately this issue is media driven and hasn't effected used car prices as I've been looking for some time. I'm not surprised though as Toyota owners are on the higher end of the education spectrum so they're less likely to dump their vehicle over a recall.

ScottJ

Awesome use of data, guys. I like how you used shading to show C4C and the floormat issue. Is there anything interesting at the brand level? Are other Toyota vehicles seeing drops?

Peppy

@Carson P.

Or maybe Toyota owners are just brainwashed into thinking that Toyota is God.

YOING

There must be a few suckers out there foolish enough to dump their cars due to the hype surrounding the recall. Good luck with the find

RL

I think you are right Peppy. There is a whole bunch of brainwashed followers out there not just for Toyotas but Japanese cars in general. The fact is other makers, mostly European & Korean, have either caught up with or surpassed the Japanese in quality while those brainwashed are still having their blinders on.

Troy S.

The Toyota debacle reminds me of Y2K.

Rich1

@ Peppy & RL - I'm not sure about them being "brainwashed, but their is a certain additude amongst owners of Toyota's and other Japanese vehicles. The cause? The big three's lack of ability to make their vehicles reliable or attractive. In my opinion, buying a vehicle from a "domestic" auto-maker with their crappy track records (just ask anyone at GM about Ford or Chrysler, or ask anyone at Chrysler about Ford or GM.... you get the point) just because it makes you feel patriotic (and it should'nt because most domestics are built outside of this country and have fewer American made parts than most "Japanese" vehicles) is by definition,"brainwashing".

MD

Toyota dealers start selling
cam & corolla at a low profile
but noticed pre-recall deal
is gone and no more customer
rebates. I think they should offer even better deals instead.

mike

@Rich1

-2010 car of the year award won by ford fusion not camry or accord.

-2009 car of the year award won by chevy malibu. not camry or accord.

are you japanese? living in america and afraid of domestic automakers carmakers making better car than japanese? donot talk about past. its gone. compare 2010 fusion and 2010 camry. but it seems ur "brainwashed" you won;t be able to see truth or don't want to see the truth or affraid to except the truth or etc. etc. etc.

mike

American people boasting quality about japanese cars without trying current models of american cars, further hurting american economy, cause their hard earned dollar ends up in japan not in usa. some might argue that toyotas and hondas have plants here but those are more like assembly plant. checkout the total person employed by gm, ford and chrysler and then talk.

YOING

In the US or foriegn operations Mike? You do know that the Fusion is built in Mexico right? The Camry is built in America.

mike

@YOING
you are right, but final profit stays in america because FORD is american company not mexican.

mike

@YOING

one more thing toyota assembly workers have no unoins and makes avg $14-15/ hr whereas big three pays pension,benefits and avg salary morethan $20/hr to unoin workers.

Rich1

@ mike - I have no doubts that the 2010 Fusion quality is much higher than anything Ford has ever offered. But it is still quite ugly (and the 2009 models had recalls for brake problems). I'm assuming that you are refering to the MOTORTREND car of the year award, when I say that the opinion of one magazine matters little to me. I will continue to talk about the past (if Yugo made a comeback and won the car of the year I would not buy it). If all you care about is final profits let me ask you this. Would you buy a Ford Fusion if it were built in Asia? Probably not. Although I must let you know that I hate the Camry, (have always hated the camry) it sucks, nuff about that. I am not Japanese and I think that Toyota should be procecuted to the fullest for human rights abuses in the work place or otherwise. The American auto unions are the reason the big three can't compete with foreign car makers (workers unions in Japan do not exist and even if they did it would be a joke at best), and let's see.... the bailout for GM, Ford, and Chrysler was very bad for our economy. Who's next, cuz mike is all washed up.

mike

@Rich1
they didn't count your personnel opinion about fusion when they declared 2010 motertrend car of the year, too bad. so much frustration for that. i can understand. hey, but winner is winner. no matter you except it or not. second thing yes i would buy ford fusion even if it were built in asia because it still remains car made by american company. give up now , ur all washed up!! god bless america. if you are american buy american. and that bottom line. even if i have to spend more on maintanace i will.

Rich1

@ mike - I if your idea of an American vehicle is one that made from Japanese parts and assembled in Mexico (and most of the profits go to some CEOs who use it to buy mansions in Europe, or on $5000 suits from Europe), then by all means keep buying from the big three, and don't complain when your job is outsourced to someone in India or China. My Toyota was built in Sacramento California by U.S. citizens whose wages (and taxes) are most likely going to stay here in the states. The profits from those sales may go to Toyota headquarters, but as you may know, wealthy Japanese people often spend their money here in America.

bbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

u guys r funny. there r alot of dumb people who buy toyota and say every other company sucks.truth is it's very competitve. very good quality from alot of brands and people will stop bashing GM when they pay off there LOAN soon.hey u should b homeless bc u took a LOAN for u r house. samething dumbass. good thing dumb asses dont run the country.

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