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Wednesday, January 05, 2005


20 Most Researched Vehicles on the Internet...where are the Domestics?

I wrote yesterday about the decline of the Big Three. Sure, there are plenty of bright spots...for example, Ford announced that the F-Series was the best selling vehicle in America for the 23rd year running. But the overall trend at the brand level is more negative. Take a look at the findings at Kelly Blue Book:


1. Honda Accord 11. Honda CR-V
2. Honda Civic 12. Ford Mustang
3. Toyota Camry 13. Ford Explorer
4. Toyota Corolla 14. Ford Escape
5. Nissan Altima 15. Infiniti G3520
6. Toyota Highlander 16. BMW 3-Series
7. Toyota Sienna 17. Mercedes C-Class
8. Honda Pilot 18. Volkswagen Passat
9. Honda Odyssey 19. Volkswagen Jetta
10. Toyota 4Runner 20. Chrysler 300
Pretty frightening stuff. If you're wondering, how come the first "domestic" is only # 12 on the list (Mustang, followed by Explorer and Escape) but domestics still have the most marketshare?

Simple...a good chunk of the traditional Big Three sales are bought by large fleets (e.g. rental car companies). And fleet buyers don't do vehicle research on sites like KBB. Further, fleet sales are not necessarily the most profitable way to do business. Fleet buyers get big discounts.

When you look at pure consumer interest, the picture changes dramatically. These #s also explain why domestic products tend to have more incentives to achieve their sales targets.

On the good news front, it's nice to see Chrysler making the top 20 list with its stylish 300. When I was still Chief Marketing Officer at Car.com our editors voted it the Best New Design.

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