Events during 2017 affected how buyers searched for cars. Holidays such as Halloween and St. Patrick’s day affected the amount of searches. The solar eclipse slowed down car searching for all models except for the Mitsubishi Eclipse. Major catastrophes also cut down on car searches.
Cars.com announced its 2017 Year in Review list, which was compiled by mining and analyzing the site’s deep well of real-time behavioral data to determine how consumer car-shopping patterns are affected by current events, pop culture news and other key moments in time from the past year. The data-driven insights reveal clear connections between how seemingly unrelated offline events drive online actions.
1. 2017 was a huge year for new model launches, but Americans can’t get enough of their pickup trucks.
The top three shopped vehicles of 2017 were the:
- Ford F-Series
- Chevrolet Silverado
- Ram pickups
2. As millions of women marched across the country on Jan. 21, car shopping stalled – signaling the shift in car-purchasing power to women.
More than 60 percent of women are the sole decision makers when they go car shopping.¹ Not surprisingly, on the day of the Women’s March, shopper activity was down 8.4 percent.
3. Football fans put down their wings during the Big Game to shop for cars.
On Feb. 5, New England outshopped Atlanta with 12.3 percent more new-vehicle shopper traffic.
4. Cuffing season ends with an uptick in car shopping, but Halloween frightens shoppers away.
The busiest car-shopping day of 2017 was Feb. 26, while the slowest car-shopping day of the year was Oct. 31.
5. The country’s top cities for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations suffered from a major car-shopping hangover. Kansas City seems to have celebrated a little too hard.
Nationally, new-vehicle shopper activity was down on St. Patrick’s Day, but it was still down the day after St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in some of the country’s top cities:
- Kansas City: -21.3 percent
- Nashville: -13.2 percent
- Cleveland: -5.5 percent
- Boston: -5.1 percent
- Chicago: -3.7 percent
- Buffalo: -2.4 percent
- Raleigh: -1.4 percent
- Louisville: 0.8 percent
- Pittsburgh: 1.8 percent
- Philadelphia: 6.6 percent
6. It’s no surprise that Angelenos clocked the most searches for eco-friendly vehicles on Earth Day, but Chicagoans were feeling extra green this year, coming in second.
The top five U.S. markets that searched for eco-friendly vehicles on Earth Day 2017 were:
- Los Angeles
- Washington, D.C.
- San Francisco Bay Area
- New York City
7. American consumers went dark during the 2017 total solar eclipse as eyes were to the sky from coast to coast … except for those shopping the out-of-production Mitsubishi Eclipse.
During the roughly 90 minutes (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Central) it took for the eclipse to travel the 2,600 miles across the continent, page views were down 15 percent week over week. There was, however, a 62 percent uptick in searches for used Mitsubishi Eclipses and an 11 percent increase on new Mitsubishi-brand vehicle searches.
8. Like everything else, car shopping has gone mobile, and Louisiana and New Jersey top the list of highest mobile shopper activity for new and used vehicles, respectively.
In 2017, 65 percent of new-vehicle shopper activity and 51 percent of used-vehicle shopper activity came from a mobile device. The top five states with the highest new-vehicle mobile shopper activity were:
The top five states with the highest used-vehicle mobile shopper activity were:
- New Jersey
- New York
9. Hurricane Harvey interrupted auto sales for several days before Houston shoppers returned to dealerships to replace waterlogged vehicles and spur a more than 100 percent increase in share of new-vehicle sales in the first 20 days of September.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Houston on Aug. 25. Houston’s share of national new-vehicle sales were up more than 100 percent in the first 20 days of September versus July (the month before the storm).
10. Consumers spent nearly 2 billion minutes shopping on Cars.com properties in 2017.
This is the equivalent of 33 million hours … or 1.4 million days … or nearly 45,600 months … or more than 3,800 years. In that time, you could travel to Mars and back about 2,850 times.³
11. Americans weren’t exactly creative with vehicle color choices of 2017.
The most popular car colors of the year were black (No. 1) and white (No. 2). The least popular car color was pink.
12. Ford dominated car-shopper attention in 2017, followed closely by:
The top moments identified in Cars.com’s 2017 Year in Review were measured by analyzing impressions of new- and used-vehicle inventory pages, page views and searches on the site between Jan. 1 and Nov. 27, 2017, to get to total new- or used-vehicle shopper activity. The aggregated data was analyzed, ranked and segmented by major markets, states, makes or models, depending on the key moment. The time spent car shopping on Cars.com properties was calculated using data from comScore Media Matrix Multi-Platform from Jan. to Oct. 2017.