SEMA eNews Vol. 10, No. 26, June 28, 2007

<i>KELLEY BLUE BOOK</i> STUDY RATES VEHICLE BRANDS IN "DRIVING PERFORMANCE"

According to Kelley Blue Book's 'Driving Performance' portion of its consumer automotive perceptions research study Brand Watch, Toyota and BMW each claimed two number-one spots for best driving performance. Toyota took the top spot in both the minivan and non-luxury SUV segments, while BMW was singled out for top honors among luxury SUVs and luxury sedans, according to its latest results.

Domestic brands sweep the truck segment when it comes to driving performance in Brand Watch, with Chevrolet, GMC and Dodge placing first, second and third, respectively. Domestic brands previously had been singled out as top picks for interior and exterior styling in the truck segment. Import brands dominate across most segments when it comes to driving performance, says Kelley Blue Book, claiming the top three spots in every vehicle segment except trucks and also, with the exception of Ford, placing third among non-luxury SUVs. Porsche claimed the top spot in the convertible/sports car segment, a category in which performance is the most desired characteristic.

Toyota, Honda, BMW and Mercedes-Benz each garnered three top-three finishes in various categories, displaying consumers' overall perception of those brands having the best driving performance. Nissan and Lexus garnered two top-three finishes each.

"BMW's top rankings in the luxury sedan and luxury SUV segments demonstrate that it has a lock on performance characteristics in the luxury category according to new-car buyers, an instance where brand image and the consumer brand perception are in perfect alignment," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst of Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. "Meanwhile, pickups are the last bastion of domestic dominance and that dominance is strong with Chevrolet, GMC and Dodge sweeping the top three spots for performance with not an import in sight."



"Perceptions are a key factor and drive car buyers' decisions as to which makes and models will be on their shopping list," said Rick Wainschel vice president of marketing research and brand communications for Kelley Blue Book. "This report can show manufacturers their relative position against other makes in specific vehicle segments, which strengths to emphasize and which weaknesses may need to be addressed."

Source: Kelley Blue Book. (June 21, 2007). "Kelley Blue Book's 'Brand Watch' Study Finds Toyota, BMW Lead New-Vehicle Shoppers' Opinions on Driving Performance." Kelley Blue Book press release courtesy of PR Newswire.