BMW and Toyota have regained their long-standing spots as America’s most purchased vehicle brands in their respective segments, after being upset late last year, according to the former’s Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch™ reports. quarter 2022.
Toyota regained the top spot as the most purchased non-luxury brand, a position it held for four years until Ford’s brief tenure as No. 1 in the last quarter of 2021. Similarly, BMW has regained its place as the most purchased luxury brand. mark in the first quarter of 2022, a position it held for three years until the end of 2021, when Lexus moved through and took the top spot.
Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch is a consumer perception survey that also incorporates purchasing behavior to determine how vehicle brands and models compare to segment competitors when it comes to consumer purchases. Kelley Blue Book produces separate brand monitoring reports for luxury and non-luxury brands each quarter. A special look at buying electrified vehicles is also included. Brand Watch’s latest work included a survey of mobile and desktop users to provide an even broader view of vehicle purchase; the survey previously only included results from desktop users.
“High fuel prices and a few high-profile product launches have really upset the order in the Q1 Kelley Blue Book branded watch,” said Vanessa Ton, senior manager of research and market intelligence at Cox Automotive. . “Purchases of traditional sedans, which are often more affordable and efficient than SUVs and trucks, surged in the first quarter after years of declines. Fuel prices have clearly influenced buying behavior.
As gasoline prices set new records in March and vehicle affordability deteriorated, many first-quarter buyers sought out more efficient and affordable sedans. Among non-luxury shoppers, 37% considered cars in Q1, up from 31% in Q4 2021 and the highest level in a long time.
In the last quarter of 2021, no traditional car was in the top ten most purchased vehicles, but that changed in the first quarter of this year when three cars – Honda Accord and Civic and Toyota Camry – returned to the most purchased list. . Even on the luxury side, fuel efficiency jumped from #10 to #7 among the most important factors for buyers.
High fuel prices have likely also helped spark interest in electrified vehicles. In the first quarter, one in four buyers were considering an electrified vehicle, particularly electric and hybrid vehicles, a trend likely to accelerate as new models hit showrooms. The top 10 electrified vehicles purchased were evenly split between hybrids and electric vehicles. Ford, Tesla and Toyota topped the list with three models each. The Honda CR-V hybrid completes the top 10.
Yet even with high gas prices and rising costs, SUVs have remained the king of new vehicle purchases. Of all non-luxury vehicle buyers, 66% were considering an SUV, a level that has held steady for some time, while 35% were buying pickup trucks, similar to the end of 2021. In Q1, 5% of vehicle buyers considered minivans, up from 4% at the end of 2021.
Chevrolet and Dodge consideration jumps in first quarter
Consideration for the Silverado soared, and for the first time, the Silverado overtook the Ford F-150 as the most purchased pickup truck in the quarterly Kelley Blue Book survey. The Silverado was bolstered by GM’s announcement in January – with a high-profile Super Bowl ad – of an electric model arriving next year, which spurred buyer interest and significant media buzz over the course of the year. of the quarter.
Dodge was another winner in the quarter. The brand’s purchase consideration doubled, largely due to a noticeable increase in purchases for the Durango SUV. The Charger and Challenger muscle cars also received more purchase consideration in the first quarter.
In the dozen factors most important to non-luxury shoppers, another Stellantis brand – Ram – earned the most honors, ranking in 10 of 12 categories, including safety, ride comfort and interior design. Honda finished second, scoring in 7 of 12 categories, with top marks in affordability and fuel efficiency. Toyota finished third, placing in 6 of 12 categories, including ranking #1 in durability/reliability, the most important factor for new-vehicle buyers.
BMW returns as the leader of the luxury brand
On the luxury side, BMW regained its long-standing spot as the most purchased luxury brand in the first quarter thanks to its popular and iconic 5 Series and 3 Series sedans. Lexus, which had overtaken BMW in the last quarter of 2021, is fell to third place in the first quarter of 2022.
The big surprise was Cadillac’s rise to the top-selling luxury brand. Luxury brand General Motors posted the biggest increase in purchase activity thanks to the Escalade SUV, which was the most purchased luxury vehicle for the first time in the quarter.
The other surprise was the fall in purchases of Tesla, which fell from the third most purchased luxury brand to fifth place at the end of last year. Still, even with dwindling purchases and consideration, Tesla managed to post record U.S. sales in the quarter and gain market share.
Mercedes-Benz won the most honors in the factors most important to luxury vehicle buyers, ranking first for ride comfort, interior design and prestige/sophistication. Ranked in 7 out of 12 categories, Mercedes-Benz also ranked in Safety, Technology, Durability/Reliability and Exterior Styling. Tesla was close behind, scoring in 6 of 12 categories.
In the last quarter of 2021, Acura overtook Lexus to claim the top spot in the factor most important to buyers: durability/reliability. Acura retained that coveted top spot in the first quarter of 2022 and achieved results in affordability, reputation, fuel efficiency and interior design.