New data from a major auto market source shows that, while gas prices are on the decline, car buyers are still circumspect about gas-guzzlers and generally on the hunt for fuel-efficient vehicles.
A press release from AutoTrader.com, a comprehensive auto report site, presents quite a wealth of information about the current car market, using May’s numbers, which show some interesting patterns. One is that smaller cars and fuel-saving options are still prized, even with a slight decline in gas prices toward the end of the month. It’s likely that, after getting burned by price spikes over the last few years, new car buyers and those scooping up pre-owned cars are realizing that a fuel-efficient car is a good choice in any economic weather.
Another trend is big price increases for cars that are in demand. AutoTrader.com also analyzed “average asking prices” for car models and found that many were up from 10-20% in year over year or YOY figures for May. The biggest mover was the Kia Optima, with a 21% increase.
More news from AutoTrader.com reinforces the idea, previously reported here, that Hyundai and its sister company Kia are poised to gain from today’s market realities. More data comes in the form of AutoTrader’s “Most Searched” model list, an indicator of where American car sales are going. Here, the Hyundai Sonata appears to be particularly desirable right now, while the previously hot Elantra is a bit down from last month, but steady. In terms of domestic auto makers, the Ford Focus gains, but the Fiesta, another popular model for the beginning of 2011, experienced a slight decline, according to the source.
One thing to keep in mind for a new or used buy on any of these models is that dealers are likely going to mark these cars at a premium, not just because of YOY price increases, but because of general demand. Take a close look at the AutoTrader report and others like it before going to the dealership, and you’ll see exactly which models are likely to be priced up as “rare” in today’s market. This, along with good shopping for auto financing lenders, will help you to keep control of your wallet while getting one of the most popular fuel-efficient cars offered now.