Online Car Shoppers Unaffected by Recent Recalls of 10.2 Million Toyota Vehicles According to Jumpstart Automotive Group

  Online Car Shoppers Unaffected by Recent Recalls of 10.2 Million Toyota
  Vehicles According to Jumpstart Automotive Group

  Jumpstart says millions of Toyota customers in its suite of 14 automotive
  websites remain fiercely loyal despite two mass recalls in as many months

Business Wire

SAN FRANCISCO -- December 04, 2012

Jumpstart Automotive Group today announced that in gauging the behaviors of
roughly 19 million monthly unique visitors across the company’s suite of 14
automotive websites following two mass Toyota recalls in as many months – one
involving 7.4 million vehicles due to a faulty power window switch and another
involving 2.8 million vehicles for a steering glitch two weeks ago – the
analysis revealed that online shopper interest in the automaker’s cars and
trucks has been virtually unaffected and that over the past two months, Toyota
has actually seen a slight increase in brand shoppers over September.

These latest recalls follow a series of seemingly debilitating setbacks the
automaker has faced in recent years, including recalls that impacted more than
10 million vehicles from 2009 – 2011, as well as sidelined production due to
the Japan earthquake and tsunami and Thailand floods last year. Just this
week, the automaker recalled 150,000 Tacoma pickups for a rust problem that
can cause spare tires to fall from the vehicle.

Jumpstart, a division of Hearst Magazines and an innovative marketing
solutions provider for automotive advertisers, says that if there’s any
trepidation regarding Toyota products, the company just isn’t seeing it in
high volume among the millions of online auto shoppers across its suite of

Today, Jumpstart released the following data from its online shopper analysis
prior to and following the latest recalls, as well as data during the height
of Toyota’s mass recalls over the past three years:

Jumpstart Analysis       Toyota Average Monthly Share of
                           Brand Shopping
Jan 1 – Oct 10, 2012     9.4%
Oct 10 – Nov 10, 2012    9.0%
Nov 14 – Nov 28, 2012    8.9%
                        Total Variance in Average Monthly
CY 2009-2010             -1%
CY 2010-2011             +15%
CY 2011-2012 (Jan-Oct)   +13%

  *Compared to other brands, from January 1 to October 10, Toyota’s share of
    shopper interest across Jumpstart’s suite of sites averaged 9.4 percent,
    with a 12.0 percent increase in shopper volume from the same timeframe one
    year prior
  *During the four-week period following news of the 7.4 million vehicle
    recall (from October 10 to November 10), shopper interest in Toyota cars
    and trucks across Jumpstart’s suite of websites remained relatively strong
    with only a 0.4 percent decline in share at an average of 9.0 percent
    compared to the first ten months of this year
  *In the two weeks since November 14, when it was announced that 2.8 million
    vehicles were being recalled, Toyota’s shopper interest has held
    relatively steady with only a 0.1 percent decline over the prior two weeks
  *For perspective, Toyota maintained an average 10.8 percent share of brand
    shopping across Jumpstart’s network of sites during the height of its mass
    recalls in 2009, 2010 and 2011, at 11.3 percent, 11.0 percent and 10.1
    percent respectively. Although dipping slightly to 9.4 percent in October,
    Toyota is on pace to end the year at around 10.0 percent share of
    Jumpstart shoppers

“Considering Toyota manufacturers the number one selling car in the midsize
vehicle segment among car shoppers 11 years and counting speaks volumes to how
fiercely loyal Toyota customers really are,” said Nick Matarazzo, CEO of
Jumpstart Automotive Group. “It also demonstrates how a proactive approach to
addressing recalls can help soften negative brand perceptions. Despite ongoing
quality issues, Toyota has maintained two of the top ten spots in share of
online shoppers across Jumpstart’s sites over the past three years with the
Camry and the Corolla.”

Matarazzo says that while Toyota has fared well among car buyers and online
shoppers in the midst of mass recalls and natural disasters, the timing of the
latest recalls is cause for concern.

“The competition for the top spot in the midsize sedan category has never been
more heated which makes the timing of these latest recalls unfortunate,” said
Matarazzo. “Earlier this year, Nissan declared the Altima has what it takes to
knock Camry off its top-selling pedestal, and a number of the models in this
segment have been redesigned, including the Ford Fusion, the Chevy Malibu and
the Honda Accord. It will be interesting to see how this Battle Royale shakes
out in the coming year.”

For online automotive shopping data, automotive industry analysis and
automotive marketing case studies, visit Jumpstart Strategic Insights at

About Jumpstart Automotive Group

Jumpstart Automotive Group, a Hearst Media Services company and a division of
Hearst Magazine, brings innovative digital marketing solutions to automotive
advertisers by empowering the performance and reach of automotive publisher
partners. Jumpstart’s unavoidable audiences span online and mobile platforms
to generate awareness, shift perceptions and drive consideration for
automotive advertisers with intelligent analytics and strategic product
innovation. For more information, visit Follow Jumpstart on
Twitter @JumpstartAuto (!/JumpstartAuto).


Jumpstart Automotive Group
Media Inquiries:
Jennifer Lange, 949-916-4820
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