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Should Carmakers Instead Use a Big Green Bow this December?


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Swapalease Data Show Eco-Friendly Car Demand Outpacing Luxury in December

CINCINNATI--Dec. 12, 2012:  Tis the season for "December To Remember" and the Big Red Bow holiday advertising. However, based on recent December car-shopping patterns, should we be placing big, green eco-friendly bows on the top of those vehicles?

According to vehicle search patterns and lease transfer data from national car-leasing firm, Swapalease, the previous two Decembers have shown an uptick in eco-friendly vehicle preference compared with luxury model demand. In 2011, Swapalease processed an additional 5.5% luxury vehicle transfers in December compared with November. In a similar analysis for non-luxury and eco-friendly vehicle transfers, that percentage jumped 26.4% between the two months.

"The data is significant because leasing generally skews higher for luxury models, and December has traditionally been a good month for luxury vehicle shopping activity," said Scot Hall, Executive Vice President of Swapalease. "Looking at the larger picture, we aren't terribly surprised because of all the emphasis that's been placed on smaller cars with better fuel economy and additional features."

Vehicles such as the Ford Focus and Escape, as well as the Chevrolet Cruze and Toyota Prius are among today's non-luxury vehicles that boast strong fuel economy. What's more, these cars are equipped with technology and features that rival luxury models and fuel economy has improved noticeably for both smaller and mid-size sedans.

Luxury vehicle brands such as Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz each boost the volume of their marketing during December to take advantage of the holiday shopping season. All three brands enjoy among the top transfer volume on Swapalease throughout the year, which makes the focus on this particular trend even more noteworthy.