How Have Toyota Recalls Impacted Consideration, Pricing Trends?
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Analysts from TrueCar.com found significant gains in consumer consideration for a quartet of brands in the wake of recent Toyota recalls. However, they learned the average pricing trends remained mixed.
The four brands that gained traction against Toyota, according to TrueCar.com, included Honda, Ford, Hyundai and Kia.
"Toyota has taken a real beating through this recall," asserted Jesse Toprak, vice president 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," he went on to note.
"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," Toprak added.
TrueCar.com delved deeper into its analysis by looking further at two specific Toyota models — the Camry and Corolla. Analysts compared those two Toyota units against their in-class competitors to see how transaction prices were trending and where potential buyers were turning in response to the recall.
Toprak and his colleagues determined their data showed a clear correlation between pricing and customer searches.
In the case of the Camry, they indicated the Honda Accord demonstrated the biggest gain in average transaction price and the largest drop in pricing report requests. Meanwhile, they also mentioned that the Kia Optima and the Hyundai Sonata showed the biggest drop in average pricing and the biggest gains in pricing report requests.
Site analysts revealed similar trends when pouring over the data for the Toyota Corolla.
Similarly with Corolla shoppers, TrueCar.com indicated that the Kia Forte is showing the biggest price drop and the largest Web traffic change. However, the Nissan Sentra is near the top of the list for price gain and at the bottom of the list for Web traffic.
Analysts stressed that 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," Toprak pointed out.
"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," he continued.
"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," Toprak contended.
TrueCar.com stipulated that its data charts that refer to the time period "before recall" refers to the segment between Jan. 1 and Jan. 20. Its time period noted as "after recall" stems from Jan. 21 through Feb. 9.
|Toyota Camry Competitive Set Average Transaction Price Changes|
|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|
|Toyota Corolla Competitive Set Average Transaction Price Changes|
|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|
|Hyundai Sonata||27 percent|
|Ford Fusion||26 percent|
|Kia Optima||25 percent|
|Honda Accord||11 percent|
|Chevrolet Malibu||– 8 percent|
|Nissan Altima||– 12 percent|
|Toyota Camry||– 39 percent|
|Kia Forte||33 percent|
|Hyundai Elantra||26 percent|
|Ford Focus||14 percent|
|Honda Civic||13 percent|
|Chevrolet Cobalt||6 percent|
|Nissan Sentra||– 11 percent|
|Toyota Corolla||– 45 percent|
According to TrueCar.com's data, Honda had the biggest improvement in average transaction pricing on the brand level with an average jump of $40 per transaction. Analyts said only Hyundai ($22) and Kia ($12) were the other manufacturers to record an upward trend.
"Chevrolet, on the other hand, is not shying away from aggressive pricing by seizing the opportunity and offering extra incentives to sell more vehicles," TrueCar.com indicated.
"This strategy was highlighted by their first-to-market conquest incentive program," site officials added.
|Brand Level Average Transaction Price Changes|
|Non-recalled Toyota||$27,365||$27,337||– $28|
TrueCar.com reiterated that it bases all of its trends and forecast reports on actual transactional data, culled from 43 percent of all vehicles sales in the U.S.
Furthermore, analysts stressed that all of this information is being tracked daily at the Toyota Recall page on their Web site.