Toyota and BMW regain top spots in US “most-shopped”

Following a brief shake-up in rankings brought on by product launches, shortages and fuel prices, BMW and Toyota climbed back to their spots as America’s most-shopped vehicle brands in their respective segments, according to the Q1 2022 Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch reports.

“High fuel prices and a few high-profile product launches really shuffled the order in the Q1 Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch,” said Vanessa Ton, senior research and market intelligence manager at Cox Automotive. “Shopping for traditional sedans, which are often more affordable and efficient than SUVs and trucks, jumped up in Q1 after years of declining. Fuel prices clearly influenced shopping behaviour.”

According to the report, “Toyota regained the top spot from Ford, which held the position briefly in the last quarter of 2021, as the most-shopped non-luxury brand, a position it had held for four years until Ford’s brief occupation. Likewise, BMW retook its spot as the most-shopped luxury brand in the first quarter of 2022, a position it occupied for three years until the end of 2021 when Lexus nosed past and into the top spot.”

According to the press release, “Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch is a consumer perception survey that also weaves in shopping behaviour to determine how vehicle brands and models stack up with segment competitors when it comes to consumer shopping.” There are separate Brand Watch reports produced for non-luxury and luxury brands each quarter. The latest Brand Watch work included surveying both mobile and desktop users to provide an even broader view of vehicle shopping; the survey previously included results only from desktop users.

Other results from the survey revealed that, due to high fuel prices and vehicle affordability worsening, many shoppers in Q1 looked for more efficient, more affordable sedans. Of non-luxury shoppers, 37 per cent considered cars in the first quarter, up from 31 per cent in Q4 2021 and “the highest level in a long time.”

The report states that in the final quarter of 2021, no traditional cars were among the top-ten most-shopped 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-shopped list. The report found that “Even on the luxury side, fuel efficiency climbed from No. 10 to No. 7 in the factors most important to shoppers.”

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