More than a third (34%) of non-luxury car shoppers in the first quarter of 2022 considered buying a Toyota. Ford and Chevy were close behind — 32% considered a Ford, while 30% looked at buying a Chevy.
Toyota regained the top spot in Kelley Blue Book’s quarterly Brand Watch Report – a consumer perception survey that also weaves in shopping behavior to determine how a brand or model stacks up with its segment competitors on a dozen factors key to a consumer’s buying decision.
Toyota Leads Despite Short Inventories
Toyota had held the top spot for more than four years heading into the fourth quarter of 2021 when Ford stole its crown. But Japan’s biggest automaker is back on top of most shoppers’ lists despite having among the lowest inventories in the industry for months.
A global shortage of microchips has left automakers unable to build cars fast enough to meet demand. And Toyotas are in demand. That leaves dealers with few popular vehicles in stock. Toyota has faced new production slowdowns due to recent COVID-19 outbreaks among some of its suppliers.
High gas prices sent many Americans out to look for more fuel-efficient cars. Toyota’s Highlander Hybrid and Camry Hybrid earned a look from more shoppers than ever before, helping it reclaim the title.
But Chevrolet made the biggest jump. In Q4 2021, 25% of non-luxury buyers considered a Chevy. Last quarter, more than 30% did.
Chevy gave its best-selling Silverado pickup a thorough makeover for 2022, including new, higher-quality cabin materials. It seems to have sparked interest – Silverado consideration jumped 33%.
Cars Make a Comeback
SUVs remained king of shopping consideration, though. Of all non-luxury vehicle shoppers, 66% considered an SUV, a level that has held steady for some time, while 35% shopped pickup trucks, the same as the end of 2021.
But don’t count out the old-school sedan. Thirty-seven percent of shoppers considered an actual car last quarter – up from 31% in late 2021 and a surprise after years of buyers migrating to SUVs. Gas prices may have been the driving factor.
The Top 10 Most-Considered Models:
6 (tie) Dodge Durango
Source: KBB Feed