The new Toyota Matrix appears to be catching the eyes of the young shopper Toyota covets.
According to data prepared for Automotive News by Compete Inc. in Boston, the Matrix helped boost online shopping for the Toyota brand by 18- to 24-year-olds. From July through February, the research firm tracked 100,000 consumers by age on 12 independent Web sites, including Kelley Blue Book and CarPoint.
The data showed that in February, 42.8 percent of Toyota shoppers were 18 to 34 years old, compared with 34.2 percent in July.
The Matrix, introduced in February, ranked 11th that month among vehicles shopped by 18- to 24-year-olds and eighth among 25- to 34-year-olds.
The Vibe hatchback, which is built on the Toyota Corolla platform, didn't show up among the top 30 vehicles shopped by any age bracket in February, despite an advertising push that began Feb. 3 during the Super Bowl.
"Toyota's online campaign is performing very well if you compare it with the Pontiac Vibe, which is very similar and trying to appeal to a similar demographic," said Sam Pollard, director of Compete's automotive business. "The Vibe has had very little traffic comparably."
Toyota sold 5,649 Matrixes in February and March, while Pontiac sold 2,554 Vibes. Gregg Sedewitz, assistant brand manager of marketing for the Vibe, said Pontiac dealers have received Vibe inventory much slower than Toyota dealers have gotten Matrixes.