SOURCE: TrueCar

TrueCar

February 10, 2010 08:58 ET

TrueCar.com Offers First Look at Pricing Impact of Toyota Recall

Transaction Data Identifies Biggest Gainers Among Toyota's Competition; Web Traffic Indicates Changing Consumer Patterns

SANTA MONICA, CA--(Marketwire - February 10, 2010) - According to TrueCar.com, the authority for new car pricing on the Internet, competitive models from Honda, Ford, Hyundai and Kia all experienced significant gains in consumer consideration in the wake of the recent Toyota recall while the average pricing trends were mixed.

"Toyota has taken a real beating through this recall," said Jesse Toprak, VP of Industry Trends for TrueCar.com. "More significantly, though, are the great strides taken by all of the manufacturers who offer comparable models to the eight affected models. They have all been able to take a nice chunk out of Toyota's market share. We believe that after the current storm dies down, Toyota will be making some of the best cars money can buy, simply because they cannot afford to have these kinds of massive recalls again. In the short term, this doesn't stop the competition from capitalizing on their misery."

TrueCar.com looked at two specific Toyota models -- Camry and Corolla -- and their in-class competitors to see how transaction prices were trending and where potential buyers were turning in response to the recall.

The data shows a clear correlation between pricing and customer searches. In the case of the Camry, the Honda Accord showed the biggest gain in average transaction price and the largest drop in pricing report requests while the Kia Optima and the Hyundai Sonata showed the biggest drop in average pricing and the biggest gains in pricing report requests, found at TrueCar.com.

Similarly, with Corolla shoppers, the Kia Forte is showing the biggest price drop and the largest web traffic change while the Nissan Sentra is near the top of the list for price gain and at the bottom of the list for web traffic. The Honda Civic remains the most popular vehicle in the class, despite its above average transaction price.

"Clearly, because of Honda's position among the Big 6, they have the edge in conquesting in-market Toyota buyers," added Toprak. "But our data shows that customers are saving a lot more by buying from Kia, Ford, Chevrolet and Hyundai. And those savings are starting to be noticed by consumers, who are requesting pricing reports on comparable, cheaper vehicles more than ever before. These turbulent times are forcing consumers to be more price sensitive and the manufacturers who take that sensitivity into account are seeing the most gains."

Camry Competitive Set Average Transaction Price Changes
                      Before          After**    Price Change
Honda Accord         $23,183         $23,288         $105
Chevrolet Malibu     $21,055         $21,132          $77
Nissan Altima        $22,984         $22,800        -$184
Hyundai Sonata       $18,586         $18,256        -$330
Ford Fusion          $22,382         $21,978        -$403
Kia Optima           $16,803         $16,389        -$414


Corolla Competitive Set Average Transaction Price Changes
                      Before          After**    Price Change
Honda Civic          $18,190         $18,282          $92
Nissan Sentra        $16,575         $16,608          $33
Ford Focus           $15,966         $15,915         -$52
Hyundai Elantra      $15,556         $15,489         -$67
Chevrolet Cobalt     $14,502         $14,221        -$281
Kia Forte            $17,004         $16,678        -$326


TrueCar.com Web Traffic change (before & after recall*) - Toyota Camry
                   % change
Hyundai Sonata        27%
Ford Fusion           26%
Kia Optima            25%
Honda Accord          11%
Chevrolet Malibu      -8%
Nissan Altima        -12%
Toyota Camry         -39%


TrueCar.com Web Traffic change (before & after recall*) - Toyota Corolla
                   % change
Kia Forte             33%
Hyundai Elantra       26%
Ford Focus            14%
Honda Civic           13%
Chevrolet Cobalt       6%
Nissan Sentra        -11%
Toyota Corolla       -45%

According to the data, Honda had the biggest improvement in average transaction pricing on the brand level with an average spike of $40 per transaction. Hyundai ($22) and Kia ($12) were the only other manufacturers to record an upward trend. Chevrolet (-$692), on the other hand, is not shying away from aggressive pricing by seizing the opportunity and offering extra incentives to sell more vehicles. This strategy was highlighted by their first-to-market conquest incentive program.

Brand Level Average Transaction Price Changes
                      Before          After**    Price Change
Honda                $23,682         $23,723          $40
Hyundai              $20,465         $20,487          $22
Kia                  $18,782         $18,794          $12
Nissan               $24,390         $24,369         -$21
Non-recalled Toyota  $27,365         $27,337         -$28
Ford                 $28,704         $28,597        -$106
Chevrolet            $27,908         $27,217        -$692

TrueCar.com bases all of its trends and forecast reports on actual transactional data, culled from 43% of all vehicles sales in the U.S. This data comes from a number of sources, including dealers, insurance and financing, giving TrueCar.com the most thorough sample in the industry.

All of this information is being tracked daily at the Toyota Recall page at TrueCar.com. The page has updated information about transaction pricing as well as links for consumers to learn more about pricing on the Toyotas still available for purchase as well as comparable models.

TrueCar.com thoroughly reviewed comparable model transaction price changes and web traffic changes on all eight of the recalled Toyota vehicles and is available upon request. Media with interview or data requests can contact Lee Morrell at 866-65-TRUTH (866-658-7884) or lee@truecar.com.

*"Before recall" refers to the time period prior to the Toyota recall -- January 1, 2010 to January 20, 2010. "After recall" refers to the time period following the Toyota recall -- January 21, 2010 to February 9, 2010. **"After" is based on normalized averages.

About TrueCar

TrueCar (http://www.truecar.com/) is the authority in new car prices. TrueCar analyzes data from thousands of sources to show car buyers and car dealers how much people actually paid for a particular car in a specific local area. The innovative new car pricing service is offered online, free of charge at TrueCar.com. With TrueCar pricing, both new car buyers and new car dealers can know at any time what is considered a good or great price on a new car. Consumers no longer need to walk into a dealership partially informed and fully suspicious -- using TrueCar they walk in knowing the price of a fair deal. Dealers benefit by TrueCar's real-time, unbiased information about marketplace pricing, helping them price cars for increased sales, and ultimately gaining market share over other dealers. Led by a highly experienced team from the automotive and technology industries, TrueCar is based in Santa Monica, California.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Lee Morrell
    866-658-7884