Reading tea leaves: Carmax says hybrid searches on the rise

When you go to the Carmax home page these days, you're greeted by the image above. As you can read, they talk about 25,000 cars available. So, which ones are popular? According to a press release sent out today by Carmax (available after the break), hybrids are.

Since last year, searches for hybrids have gone up ten percent. But, if we just look at the change from October to November, that number is a 43 percent jump. Carmax says that the Ford Escape Hybrid (up 108 percent from October to November), the Toyota Prius (up 56 percent) and the Toyota Camry Hybrid (up 48 percent) are the most popular hybrid searches. Tom Folliard, president and chief executive officer of CarMax, says in the statement that, "Hybrid cars are increasingly making an impression on car shoppers and searches on are reflecting that."

[Source: Chris @ Carmax]


RICHMOND, Va. (Dec. 20, 2007) –At a time of uncertain gas prices, CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX) the nation's largest retailer of used cars, says online searches for hybrid cars are on the rise. Examples of the most searched hybrid cars include the Ford Escape Hybrid, Toyota Prius and Toyota Camry Hybrid. These hybrids are climbing in popularity based on recent month-to-month trends of searches for hybrid cars on the website. November 2007 data indicated that searches for hybrid cars have increased 10% over last year and 43% from October to November.

"One of the ways we know that people are looking more for hybrid vehicles is by monitoring the search activity on our website," said Tom Folliard, president and chief executive officer of CarMax. "Hybrid cars are increasingly making an impression on car shoppers and searches on are reflecting that."

The following hybrid cars experienced the largest increases in search activity:

Make/Model October to November 2007 Increase
Ford Escape Hybrid 108%
Toyota Prius 56%
Toyota Camry Hybrid 48%

Online shoppers can use the website to search the company's inventory of more than 25,000 used and new vehicles, including hybrid cars. The website showcases each vehicle with multiple photos, the no-haggle price and information on features, options, fuel economy and customer reviews. In fiscal 2007, averaged more than four million visits per month. Additionally, approximately 70 percent of in-store customers visited the website before coming to the store.

About CarMax
CarMax, a Fortune 500 company and one of the Fortune 2007 "100 Best Companies to Work For," is the nation's largest retailer of used cars. Headquartered in Richmond, Va., CarMax currently operates 88 used car superstores in 41 markets. The CarMax consumer offer is structured around four customer benefits: low, no-haggle prices; a broad selection; high quality vehicles; and customer-friendly service. During the twelve months ended February 28, 2007, the company retailed 337,021 used vehicles and sold 208,959 wholesale vehicles at its in-store auctions. For more information, access the CarMax website at

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