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Japanese Models Highlight Used Shopping Traffic Figures

Popular Japanese Models Highlight KBB's Q1 Used Shopping Traffic Figures

If used-car managers wanted more confirmation that a quartet of Japanese sedans are in demand, first-quarter shopping traffic trends on Kelley Blue Book's website could provide more clarity.

Site officials revealed which models were searched for most during the first quarter, and it turns out four of the top five units are from Honda and Toyota.

Honda's Civic and Accord ranked first and second in the data KBB sent to Auto Remarketing on Thursday. Toyota's Camry came in No. 3, and the Corolla settled into the fifth spot.

The remainder of the top 10 consisted of several domestic pickups, as well as another Japanese sedan.

KBB gave Auto Remarketing the top 25 most-searched used vehicles for the first quarter:

1. Honda Civic
2. Honda Accord
3. Toyota Camry
4. Ford F-150
5. Toyota Corolla
6. BMW 3 Series
7. Nissan Altima
8. Chevrolet Silverado 1500
9. Ford F-250/F-350/F-450 Super Duty
10. Ford Mustang
11. Volkswagen Jetta
12. Jeep Grand Cherokee
13. Jeep Wrangler
14. Ford Focus
15. Toyota Tacoma
16. Ram 1500
17. Ford Explorer
18. Ford Ranger
19. Honda CR-V
20. Ford Taurus
21. Nissan Maxima
22. Chevrolet Impala
23. Chevrolet Tahoe
24. Honda Odyssey
25. Chevrolet Malibu

New-Vehicle Shopping Trends

When Kelley Blue Book shared its new-vehicle shopping data with Auto Remarketing, the performance of a Japanese automaker again dominated the discussion.

According to KBB's first-quarter shopping data, Honda had three out of the four most-visited new models on Kbb.com.

The Honda CR-V was the most-shopped new vehicle during the first quarter, with the Civic taking No. 2 and Accord following at No. 4 during the same time period.

"With the recent redesign of Honda's CR-V, the brand hit a home run among in-market new-car shoppers garnering more traffic than any other new car on Kbb.com during the first quarter of the year," said Akshay Anand, market intelligence Web analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

"Creating popular new product supported by witty and engaging marketing efforts, Honda clearly resonates strongly with consumers," Anand continued.

KBB contends that in-market new-car shoppers have taken a strong liking to the CR-V crossover thanks to its favorable recent redesign combined with increased visibility attributed to popular advertising, such as the 'Ferris Bueller'-themed TV spot airing during the Super Bowl in February.

In addition to its most-shopped status on Kbb.com, the site mentioned the new CR-V also captured the No. 1 spot in compact crossover sales during the first quarter.

Analysts also highlighted the fuel-sipping Civic, also redesigned for 2012, undoubtedly benefitted from a spike in gas prices during the first quarter of the year. They contend the hot-selling compact model also has been supported by steady advertising for its sporty Si version and technology-laden EX-L trim.

KBB noted the Civic holds the top spot in first-quarter sales in the highly competitive compact segment, besting the also-redesigned Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Jetta by a healthy margin.

The Accord, what the site stressed is a perennial highly shopped stalwart, has benefitted from recent increased buzz surrounding midsize cars.

"With many popular new designs hitting the midsize class this year, including a forthcoming Accord redesign slated for fall and other hot-selling models with redesigns this year including Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima, the popular sedan segment is experiencing a renaissance," KBB declared.

"The current-generation Accord continues to show impressive sales numbers even before the debut of its redesign later this year, outselling the popular new Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima while staying close on the heels of segment leader Camry in April 2012," they continued.

Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book, offered some predictions about what might happen in the midsize car segment later this year.

"Once the redesigned Accord arrives later this year, we could see a shakeup in the mid-size sedan category, especially as the competition heats up with the arrival of a redesigned Altima and Fusion," Gutierrez projected.

"Boasting three of the top 10 best-selling cars during the first quarter of 2012 combined with mirrored interest from scores of new-car shoppers on Kbb.com, Honda is poised for continued success this year," he went on to say.

Other popular Honda models placing among the top 50 most-visited new models on Kbb.com during Q1 2012 include the Odyssey at No. 24, Pilot at No. 28 and Fit at No. 45.

The redesigned Toyota Camry reached No. 2, and Hyundai's popular Sonata climbed to No. 5, to round out the top five most-visited new vehicles at Kbb.com.

KBB revealed to Auto Remarketing the top 25 most-visited new models for the first quarter:

1. Honda CR-V
2. Toyota Camry
3. Honda Civic
4. Honda Accord
5. Hyundai Sonata
6. Hyundai Elantra
7. Ford F-150
8. Chevrolet Equinox
9. Ford Focus
10. Kia Optima
11. Volkswagen Jetta
12. Mazda MAZDA3
13. BMW 3 Series
14. Toyota Prius
15. Toyota Highlander
16. Toyota RAV4
17. Ford Escape
18. Jeep Grand Cherokee
19. Toyota Corolla
20. Ford Explorer
21. Toyota Tacoma
22. Chevrolet Silverado 1500
23. Nissan Altima
24. Honda Odyssey
25. Ford Fusion