Toyota recaptured the top spot in Kelley Blue Book’s quarterly Brand Watch Report – a consumer perception survey that also ties into shopping behavior to determine how a brand or model stacks up against its competitors in the segment on a dozen factors critical to the a consumer’s purchasing decision.
Toyota leads despite short stocks
Toyota had been in first place for more than four years heading into the fourth quarter of 2021 when Ford stole its crown. But Japan’s largest automaker is back at the top of most buyers’ lists, despite having one of the industry’s lowest inventories for months.
Due to a global shortage of microchips, automakers are unable to build cars fast enough to meet demand. And Toyotas are in demand. That leaves dealers with unpopular vehicles in stock. Toyota has faced new production delays due to recent outbreaks of COVID-19 at some of its suppliers.
High gas prices sent many Americans in search of more fuel-efficient cars. Toyota’s Highlander Hybrid and Camry Hybrid got the look of more buyers than ever before, helping them reclaim the title.
But Chevrolet made the biggest leap. In the fourth quarter of 2021, 25% of non-luxury buyers were considering a Chevy. Last quarter, more than 30% did.
Chevy gave its best-selling Silverado pickup a major makeover for 2022, including new, higher-quality cab materials. It seems to have sparked interest – Silverado overweight rose 33%.
Cars are making a comeback
SUVs, however, remained king of shopping considerations. Of all buyers of non-luxury cars, 66% considered an SUV, a level that has been stable for some time, while 35% bought pickup trucks, the same as at the end of 2021.
But don’t count the old-school sedan. Thirty-seven percent of shoppers considered genuine car last quarter – a 31% increase at the end of 2021 and a surprise after years of migrating buyers to SUVs. The price of gas may have been the driving factor.
The top 10 most considered models:
- Chevy Silverado
- Ford F-150
- Honda agreement
- Honda CR-V
- Chevy Tahoe
6 (tie) Dodge Durango
- Ford Super Duty
- Toyota Camry
- Chevy Silverado HD