Movers and Losers: October 2011

Fall is turning quickly into winter, and the 2012 model year is making a big impact on the movers and losers list. In October there were still more 2011s sold versus 2012s, but it took much longer to sell them.

The average for both 2011 and 2012 new models was 60 days, but the 2011s took 93 days on average to move off lots. The new 2012s were obviously in more demand, moving on average in just 15 days. The slowest 2012s were the Nissan NV cargo van at 69 days and the Fiat 500 hatchback in 66 days.

That's not good news for the just-introduced Fiat brand.

The overall average has actually come down from 61 days last month, which to us means the 2012s will make it harder to find deals for the next few months.

Most of the movers remain practical cars or low-priced ones, even in the luxury segment. The losers are mostly 2011s that won't be back in 2012, which is typical.

But we've discovered some great picks this month that fall somewhere in between the movers and losers. These vehicles are all favorites of at least some of our editors — or maybe just me — and should lead to some great deals now that the calendar year is winding down.

Family vehicles like the 2011 Ford Flex, Chevy Traverse and Nissan Quest are still showing decent-size inventories nationally on, and the 2012s offer few changes.

The Mazda RX-8 is ending its run, and there are only 104 left in our inventories. If you want a pristine example of this rotary-driven sports car, you better hurry. But you should still try to get a great deal.

October 2011 Movers

  • 2012 Hyundai Veloster: 3 days
  • 2012 Toyota Camry: 3 days
  • 2012 Subaru Outback: 4 days
  • 2012 Toyota Tacoma: 4 days
  • 2012 Honda Odyssey: 5 days
  • 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350: 5 days
  • 2012 Toyota Sienna: 5 days
  • 2012 Honda Pilot: 6 days
  • 2012 Hyundai Elantra: 6 days
  • 2012 Kia Soul: 6 days
  • 2012 Lexus RX 350: 6 days
  • 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250 sedan: 6 days
  • 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250 coupe: 6 days
  • 2012 Mini Countryman: 6 days
  • 2012 Scion tC: 6 days
  • 2012 Nissan Versa sedan: 7 days
  • 2012 Honda Accord: 8 days
  • 2012 Honda Fit: 8 days
  • 2012 Hyundai Accent: 8 days
  • 2012 Mini Cooper hatchback: 8 days
  • 2012 Volkswagen Passat: 8 days

October 2011 Losers

  • 2011 Jaguar XKR coupe: 264 days
  • 2011 Hyundai Azera: 243 days
  • 2011 Jaguar XKR convertible: 241 days
  • 2011 Toyota Yaris sedan: 237 days
  • 2011 Lexus GS 450h: 208 days
  • 2011 Saab 9-5: 205 days
  • 2011 Saab 9-3 convertible: 194 days
  • 2011 Mercedes-Benz ML550: 186 days
  • 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid: 162 days
  • 2011 Suzuki Equator: 152 days

October 2011 Picks

  • 2011 Ford Flex: 124 days
  • 2011 Chevrolet Traverse: 106 days
  • 2011 Nissan Quest: 105 days
  • 2011 Mazda RX-8: 101 days
  • 2011 Honda CR-Z: 90 days

About the Lists: The Movers and Losers list reports the average number of days it takes to sell models from the day they arrive on the lot until the final paperwork is signed by a buyer. This is not a days-of-inventory list like you may find on other websites. We're now focusing on only 2011 and 2012 model years.

For Movers, we only list vehicles that pass a certain threshold of sales in order to weed out limited editions, ultra-high-performance cars and others that might skew the numbers or otherwise inaccurately portray popularity. For Losers, we have removed any threshold to reflect 2011 models that may have the greatest incentives.

By David Thomas | November 10, 2011 | Comments (11)



The latest chic-mobile, the 500, isn't selling fast. That's interesting. But, it doesn't surprise me.

Amuro Ray

I wonder if the 500 is selling slow due to
(1) that this is an impractical car really (and people realize that);
(2) the economy;
(3) the # of dealerships;
(4) dealers stock up the most expensive models;
(5) any other reasons; or
(6) ALL of the above?

This to me sounds like an utter marketing failure. There were (but no longer it seems) so many TV ads with J.Lo in the past few months, but the result was not really there. Ok, maybe it was a mistake to get J.Lo to do the commercials in the 1st place :)

Anyhow, I do see 2-3 around my living area, but my area has a couple of IT/gaming companies too, so maybe that's why.

Ken L.

I just don't think many people want to hear, "Nice car, J. Lo", especially guys. Then again, the target market for this car has probably never even heard of FIAT before. People don't want to spend tens of thousands on a car they've never heard of.

That's why the movers losers list is great. It talks about how long it takes the existing cars to move. So total number of cars or dealers doesn't have as much impact. I've seen quite a few around Chicago, all driven by guys. It is very affordable too. I'm surprised it's not selling better because of that alone.


Ditto on the JLO mistake. Possibly the worst marketing campaign ever. Fiat sales were actually brisk with very little marketing. Then those embarrassing JLO ads were shoved down our throats and the sale numbers actually went down. How's that for a marketing failure - national prime time commercials that actually SLOW DOWN sales.


I've seen two 500's, I think, and one was in Detroit and one was in Lansing. I didn't see the gender of who was driving them, and since I don't watch TV, I haven't seen the commercials. I'll take your word for it, though. A J-Lo commercial would appeal to my masculinity for only one reason - and it's not the car.

Seems like DT's experience in Chicago makes sense, though. The 500 is a good urban run-about, easy to park, etc. Maybe it will end up being popular in the big cities, but fail miserably elsewhere.

Amuro Ray

Haha, u've nailed it, jstant01. Those commercials are really 99.9% 'bou J.Lo. The 0.1% is 'bou product placement. You can watch those videos on youtube too, and you'll see what I mean.

Sorry to bringing this from a Fiat 500 post to a J.Lo post...but then, maybe that's the point?

Ken L.

Fiat's BIGGEST mistake was running those J.Lo ads with the 500 during a Sunday football game. At one point, it aired at every commercial break. I will forever associate the Fiat 500 with J. Lo.


It doesn't tell anything other than inventory management.

Average days to sell is directly tied to how often and how many cars are delivered to the lot.

Lot 1 Receives one car a day for seven days selling one car each day. Average days on the lot is 1 day.

Lot 2 receives 7 cars on Monday and sells all seven the next Sunday. Average days on the lot 7.

But both lots sold 7 cars in 7 days.

It completely revolves around how many cars are in inventory.


I just bought a Nissan Versa and the speedometer doesn't work. Do you think this is normal?

Ditto on the J.Lo commercial. What were they thinking? I like Honda's approach with their new spokesperson- actor Patrick Warburton; replaced actor Kevin Spacey with actor Jason Bateman for voiceovers; and ordered up fresh TV commercials for the new ’12 Civic.

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