Toyota's Loss Is Ford and Chevrolet's Gain

Toyota’s recent product recall has consumers moving product consideration toward Ford and Chevrolet models - Toyota Corolla consideration down 13%, Chevrolet Cobalt consideration up 11%.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 16, 2010 -- CarGurus (, a leading online automotive community, today announced the results of its Toyota Recall car-shopping study. For this study, CarGurus measured the change in online search volume within its car shopping product for specific recalled Toyota models. Search volumes were measured 10 days prior to and 10 days after Toyota’s January 26th product recall announcement. After the recall announcement, Toyota’s share of shopping search volume at CarGurus dropped between 6 and 16% depending on the car model (see chart below). For the top four best-selling Toyota models recalled, comparable models from Ford and Chevrolet garnered the greatest increase in search volume share.

Corolla Consumers Shift Consideration to the Chevrolet Cobalt

During the ten days after the recall, search market share for the Toyota Corolla (the fifth best selling car in the United States) dropped 13% compared to the ten days prior to the recall announcement. During this same period, the leading search share gainers for competitive products to the Corolla were the Chevrolet Cobalt (11% gain) and the Ford Focus (9% gain).

Toyota’s other top seller, the Camry (the third best selling car in the United States) saw a similar shift in consumer consideration during this period. During the 10 days after the recall announcement, the Camry’s share of search volume dropped 8%. During this same period, however, search market share increased 15% for the Ford Fusion and 8% for the Chevrolet Impala.

"Industry experts have already noted that Toyota's problems could impact other carmakers," remarked Langley Steinert, Founder/CEO of CarGurus. "What is surprising, however, is how much Ford and Chevrolet in particular appear to have benefited from Toyota's troubles. These two domestic manufacturers could leverage this opportunity to take significant market share from Toyota."

CarGurus Toyota Recall Car Shopping Study - Methodology

For the 10 days prior to and 10 days after Toyota’s January 26th product recall announcement, CarGurus measured the change in online search volume for each of Toyota’s recalled car models within CarGurus’ car shopping product. Additionally, CarGurus measured the change in search volume market share for comparable models. During the month of January, CarGurus received 2.1 million unique visitors.

Consumer Search Market Share Changes on
10 days before and after Toyota’s Jan. 26th Announcement - 2.1 Million Unique Visitors Month
(top competitive model gains vs. recalled Toyota models)
Toyota Model Search Volume Share Change Top Competitive Model Gainers Search Volume Share Change
Toyota Camry -8.4% Ford Fusion
Chevrolet Impala
Toyota Corolla -13.4% Chevrolet Cobalt
Ford Focus
Toyota RAV4 -16.1% Honda CR-V
Ford Escape
Toyota Highlander -6.2% Ford Explorer
Chevrolet Tahoe

About CarGurus LLC

Located in Harvard Square, Cambridge MA, CarGurus LLC is an online automotive community founded by Langley Steinert, formerly Chairman and co-founder TripAdvisor LLC. CarGurus' founders, board, and investors bring a wealth of experience from such leading web companies as TripAdvisor, eBay, Expedia, and Yahoo. For more information about CarGurus visit us at

Amy Mueller