Kelley Blue Book’s Brand Watch Topline Report 2021 for luxury and non-luxury brands provides insights into new car purchases, consumer perception insights, and the best-selling cars in each category.
The report is a consumer perception survey that also examines consumer purchasing behavior to see how a brand or model compares to competitors in the same category. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) divides the quarterly study into two categories, luxury and non-luxury.
This quarter’s report showed a change in consumer buying behavior as more shoppers bought a new car after finding empty used outlets due to ongoing semiconductor die shortages and other related supply chain disruptions.
Toyota maintained its position as the top-selling brand since the first quarter. The automaker’s sales rose 74 percent year-over-year, while the industry as a whole was up 50 percent.
Of all non-luxury vehicle buyers, a third consider a Toyota. However, Toyota’s purchasing consideration has decreased by one percentage point from the first to the second quarter of 2021.
The decision to buy the Toyota RAV4, America’s best-selling SUV, fell 15 percent from the first quarter, which KBB attributes to the popular hybrid version, which had the lowest inventory levels of any Toyota model in the second quarter. The medium-sized Tacoma pickup truck, which is also in short supply, had to decrease by 6 percent when it was bought.
For the second quarter in a row, Ram secured the most awards in the top 12 factors for non-luxury vehicle buyers. The Stellantis brand outperformed the competition in terms of driving performance, interior equipment, technology, exterior design and robustness, and took second place in terms of ride comfort and prestige / sophistication.
Subaru suffered the largest loss in shopping compared to any other brand, likely due to a lack of inventory. The brand’s buying consideration fell to 13 percent of all buyers, three percentage points from the first quarter. Buying considerations for the Subaru Forester fell 26 percent, while the Subaru Outback fell 22 percent in the top 10 best-selling models.
On the luxury side of the business, BMW was able to clean up as the brand with the most purchases for the 12th quarter in a row. The German company succeeded in maneuvering the chip shortage in order to achieve the greatest increase in buying interest among luxury brands and to secure the lead in the sale of luxury vehicles.
Most of this growth came from the BMW 5 Series, which recorded a whopping 42 percent increase. The brand brothers 3, X5 and X3 had 33, 11 and 8 percent growth, respectively.
Of all buyers of luxury vehicles, 23 percent viewed a BMW.
KBB predicts luxury SUV sales could pick up pace in the coming months as several new models hit the market by the end of the year, including the redesigned Lexus NX, the all-electric Volvo C40 and the next-generation Infiniti QX60.