As a New Orleans-style funeral march for a 1982 Honda Civic illustrated last weekend, New Yorkers share at times perplexing relationships with their automobiles. It only follows, then, that buying behaviors of the city’s residents would be somewhat out of step with those of buyers outside the five boroughs and its suburbs.
According to registration numbers supplied to Edmunds.com by Polk, the automotive forecasting and analysis firm, New Yorkers’ tastes diverged markedly from those of their countrymen in the first five months of 2012. They played kingmaker, for example, for Honda, which produced the three most popular cars sold in the city: the Accord, CR-V and Civic, respectively. Nationwide, the Hondas occupied the fourth, fifth and sixth positions.
New Yorkers slightly favored the Hyundai Sonata over the Toyota Camry during the first five months of the year, buying 5,509 of the Korean sedans compared with 5,427 of its Japanese counterpart. But the Camry was the most popular sedan nationwide, ranking second among all registrations of cars and light trucks through May, behind the perennial sales leader, the Ford F-Series. Nationally, the Sonata barely cracked the top 10.
Perhaps adding grist to the old talking point from John Edwards about two Americas, New Yorkers placed three luxury vehicles in the top 20 — the BMW 3 Series, Lexus RX and Infiniti G — while no premium brands were represented in the national registration numbers.
New Yorkers also overwhelmingly favored vehicles from foreign automakers relative to the rest of the country. Only two of the 20 most registered vehicles through May, the Ford Escape and Jeep Grand Cherokee, were domestic makes, compared with 10 on the national list.
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