Hyundai Soars; Toyota Doesn’t—But What’s the Reason?

Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence data just released indicates that Hyundai continues to be on a roll in the market, achieving the number-one spot in brand loyalty, putting what would seem to be beleaguered Toyota out of first place and back to third.

Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence data just released indicates that Hyundai continues to be on a roll in the market, achieving the number-one spot in brand loyalty, putting what would seem to be beleaguered Toyota out of first place and back to third. Honda, in the meantime, stays in the second spot.

According to the study, the number of Hyundai owners looking for new models within the Hyundai brand are up 10.4%, to 56.3%.

Meanwhile, the number of Toyota owners looking at models within the brand fell 4.4%, to 53.3%.

And Honda has maintained its status quo in second position, with a bump of 0.7%, to 55.8%.

While some could interpret Toyota’s fall as having to do with all of the not-so-good news, there could be a simpler reason: Toyota hasn’t introduced a whole lot of new product of late. The sixth-generation Camry was out in 2007. The present-gen Corolla the following year. And there hasn’t been a whole lot of new product action on the truck side, either. The Sienna minivan is just launching, so maybe they’ll get a boost from that. But by and large, things are pretty much the same.

T 2010 Toyota Camry—not so new

So isn’t it possible that they know what’s there and so there’s little reason to look?

Meanwhile, Hyundai has come out with a brand-new Sonata sedan and Tucson CUV, so Hyundai buyers may be staying within that space because they’re interested in what’s new.

2 2011 Hyundai Sonata—really new

This is underlined by the fact that kbb.com reported that the Sonata broke into its Top 10 Most-Researched Vehicles in February, landing at position five, and as of today, it is at four. But above it are the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Honda Civic, so it is not like the perennial stalwarts have disappeared.

All of which is to say that yes, Hyundai is on a roll, that yes, Toyota is having problems with product, but that yes, one might reserve a conclusion about the cause of the reduced number of searches.