One of every 200 registered 1995 Saturn SLs were stolen last year, making it 2003’s most stolen vehicle, according to a report from Chicago auto claims software provider CCC Information Services Inc.
The 1998 Acura Integra and 1994 Saturn SL ranked as the second and third most stolen vehicles respectively. CCC identifies the most-stolen vehicles by analyzing total loss claims it receives from more than 350 property/casualty insurers in North America. This year, CCC compared its stolen-vehicle data against vehicle registration volume information provided by R.L. Polk & Co. to determine the rate of theft as a percentage of registered vehicles. The vehicle with the highest theft percentage is deemed the year’s most stolen vehicle.
“We process approximately one million claims-related transactions each day, giving us extensive vehicle information,” said Mary Jo Prigge, CCC’s president of sales and service. “We cannot determine the exact reason thieves prefer some vehicles over others, but our data suggests some cars are stolen for the value of their parts, which may explain why we often see a ‘clustering’ effect with same make and model vehicles from sequential model years.”
“Clustering” most frequently occurs with upper midsize cars, such as the Acura Integra and Honda Accord. The 2003 most-stolen vehicle list provides multiple examples of this phenomenon. Six Acura Integras with consecutive model years (1994-1999) account for six of the top eight spots. There are signs of clustering among Honda Accords and Honda Civics as well. Our data identifies four Accords (model years 1993-1996) and five Civics (model years 1993-1995,1999 and 2000) in the top 25.
“Some manufactures retain the same part-type from model year to model year, so a part from a 1993 model may fit a car manufactured three years later,” said Prigge. “This practice may lead to the ‘clustering’ phenomenon.”
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