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Toyota, Ford and Honda most researched car brands

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Toyota, Ford, Honda, Chevrolet and Hyundai were the auto brands that attracted the most interest by shoppers using the Internet for research in 2011, according to Kelley Blue Book.

The auto information company tracks new-car shopper activity by brand on its kbb.com site and found that Hyundai cracked into the top five listing for the first time, garnering a 7.5% share of interest and replacing Nissan on the list at fifth place.

Toyota retained the top spot from a year ago, posting a 14.2% share. Ford moved up one position to the second brand researched most at 13.5%. Honda fell to third on the list, posting a 12.8% share and Chevrolet remained fourth at 11.5%.

The top five most researched vehicles were the Honda Civic, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Honda CR-V and Ford F-150 truck.

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As a sign of the economic times, no luxury cars were among the top 20 most researched vehicles, said Arthur Henry, manager of market intelligence for Kelley Blue Book. Normally, at least the BMW 3 Series makes that cut, he said.

‘Luxury brands were hit the hardest this year,” said Henry. ‘They simply didn’t fit into many consumers’ budgets, especially with the gas price hike earlier this year.’

Since 2004, the Honda Accord, Honda Civic and Toyota Camry remain the top three most-researched new vehicles on kbb.com.

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-- Jerry Hirsch
Twitter.com/LATimesJerry


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