‘Brand Watch’ Finds Best Exteriors For New Truck And Suv Shoppers

When buying something, most people intently look at the outer surface of a thing because it oftentimes says the quality and performance.

Kelley Blue Book and Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research announced the results of the “Exterior Styling” segment of its newest automotive research study, Brand Watch.

Kelley Blue Book Vice President for Marketing and Market Research Rick Wainschel said exterior styling is one of the top decision factors among vehicle shoppers, and consumers’ perceptions can add or eliminate a brand from someone’s consideration list. He added that the real-time reporting of the Brand Watch data and the ability to see these brand perceptions can be extremely helpful in tracking shifts in new vehicle shopper attitudes and developing responses to those shifts.

The Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch Study on Exterior Styling was further categorized into seven segments. These are the convertibles/Sports cars, Trucks, Minivans, Luxury SUVs, Non Luxury SUVs, Luxury Sedan, and Non Luxury Sedan.

The results gave some surprises. Porsche bested other convertibles or sports cars by ranking number one in the category. It was followed by Mercedes-Benz at rank 2, then by Jaguar at rank 3.

For new trucks, according to auto shoppers, Ford has the best exterior, and then followed by GMC and then Chevrolet. Dodge, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda almost got a spot in the category where it placed fourth, fifth, eight, and eleventh, respectively.

In the Minivans category, however, Dodge ranked 1; Toyota ranked 2; and Honda ranked 3.

Consumers find BMW as the luxury SUV with the best exterior, Lexus as the second best and Mercedes-Benz as the third. Meanwhile, on the Non Luxury SUVs, the top three in rank -in descending order- is composed of Ford, Toyota and GMC.

BMW indeed proved its luxury when it ranked 1 again in the luxury category, this time, for the Sedan. Mercedes-Benz immediately followed at rank two and Infiniti at rank 3. Meanwhile, on the Non Luxury Sedan, Nissan, Honda and Toyota bagged the first, second, and third place, respectively.

Volkswagen, with its newly enhanced VW valve covers for its new vehicles was not found in the top list of the results. Some said this is because the study was only based on the exterior of the car and not on the engine, which is one of the priority parts of a car.

Jack R. Nerad, the Executive Editorial Director and at the same time the Executive Market Analyst of Kelley Blue Book said that as vehicle reliability reaches near-parity in the market, they predict that exterior styling will play an even bigger role in building new-vehicle sales and brand equity. He further said the results of the Brand Watch study demonstrate that the industry is, and should be, placing great emphasis on what their vehicles look like.

Brand Watch taps into active shoppers to determine their perceptions of automotive brands within specific automotive segments and is available to vehicle manufacturers and auto industry professionals. Brand Watch further deals into how each manufacturer’s brand equity differs across vehicle segments, compares the relative standing of each make versus competitive makes, and reveals the decision factors of car-buyers within each make and segment. Also, detailed demographic and psychographic information is collected, reported and detailed throughout Brand Watch’s comprehensive study which is available quarterly from Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research.