Slow Growth For Auto Shopper Intensity (ASI™) Index In February

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The ASI™ (Automotive Shopper Intensity) Index began to slow in February ending four straight months of strong gains in auto shopping activity. Accelerating prices in energy, food, and world events appear to be impacting the automotive market

Dataium ASI™ Report: February 2011

Dataium ASI™ Report: February 2011

We will be closely monitoring the index over the next several weeks as the impact of ongoing world events, climbing food and energy prices, and continued unemployment materializes over the coming weeks.

Dataium, LLC, the largest aggregator of automotive shopping behavior, released the February ASI Index. The index though still climbing slowed its ascent. The index had been demonstrating a strong upward trend since September of 2010. With the traditionally strong spring automotive selling season approaching, the question will be whether changes in the economy and world events will continue to slow the index's gains or will consumers accept the challenge and continue entering the automotive market.

The ASI index has proven to be an early indicator of future auto sales. For example, October's strong month over month increases were reflected 60 days later with gains in auto sales for December, then as the index's trend line flattened in November sales growth also flattened in January, and finally, the dramatic ASI gains reported for December where reflected in this February's retail sales. Close attention will be given the index over the next few months to understand whether the softening of growth in the index for February transforms into a decline in March, or is merely a one month anomaly.

Traffic to automotive websites remained strong and above the monthly moving average, as well as, lead volume. As stated in last month's release February and March indexes are likely bellwethers for the remainder of the year's performance. Middle East unrest, higher gas prices, rising inflation on food and clothing, along with the catastrophic events in Japan, all provide a significant challenge to potential gains in March's index. In fact, for the first two weeks of March the ASI show a -5.7% decline. Further, Dataium plans to release supplemental ASI index reports for Japanese import brands as those brands recover from and responds to the catastrophic events unfolding in that country.

In February, Inifinti and Subaru demonstrated the strongest ASI indexes among all makes, with Infiniti showing the strongest gains. BMW had the greatest decline in ASI.

"February's ASI was a mixed bag of data with some factors showing gains and others losing ground," stated Eric Brown, CEO of Dataium, he added, "we will be closely monitoring the index over the next several weeks as the impact of ongoing world events, climbing food and energy prices, and continued unemployment materializes over the coming weeks."

Jason Ezell, President of Dataium added, "our hearts and prayers are with our automotive colleagues around the world and particularly in Japan who are suffering both the professional and personal impact of an unprecedented natural disaster. We pray for the rescue workers, all the families impacted, and for a quick and complete recovery."

Through proprietary patented data collection and analytics, Dataium aggregates and measures billions of auto shopper events among millions of active auto shoppers across a network of diverse automotive websites. Dataium not only provides data and research on auto shopper behavior nationally, but by specific makes, models, vehicle segments, and specific markets as well. The national report is available for download at Dataium reports and dashboards are available on a subscription basis or may be customized for those who wish to access real-time updates or may have specific data requirements.

About Dataium, LLC
Dataium is the largest aggregator of Internet automotive shopping activity. The company collects, analyzes, and indexes billions of online automotive shopping events. Dataium supports patented data collection and reporting technology; VisiCogn® Collection Utility, VisiCogn® Knowledge Center, VisiCogn® INSITE, and is also known for its ASI™ index. For more information, visit, email: info(at)dataium(dot)com, or call 877-896-DATA (3282).

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