- Car buying gained share among both luxury and non-luxury buyers in the second quarter amid high gas prices, rising average transaction prices and continued vehicle supply challenges.
- Consideration of electrified vehicles rebounded, with Tesla and Toyota leading the way as the most considered electrified vehicle brands in the second quarter, while Rivian gained traction outpacing other EV startups.
- Cadillac pulled ahead of Lexus to become the second best-selling luxury brand behind leader BMW for the second straight quarter.
ATLANTA, August 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Car buyers’ interest in cars and electrified vehicles surged amid high gas prices and record transaction prices, as BMW and Toyota maintained their spots as America’s best-selling auto brands in the segments their respective brands, according to the Q2 2022 Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch™ Reports.
The Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch is a consumer perception survey of new car shoppers who intend to buy within 12 months, which also weaves in purchase behavior to determine how vehicle brands and models stack up against segment competitors. The Kelley Blue Book produces separate Brand Watch reports for non-luxury and luxury brands each quarter. Also included is a special look at electrified vehicle purchases. Brand Watch’s latest report includes surveying mobile and desktop users to provide an even broader view of vehicle purchases (prior to Q1 2022, the survey included results from desktop users only).
“The record gas prices that Americans experienced in the second quarter of this year undoubtedly influenced their vehicle purchase considerations,” said Vanessa Ton, senior manager of research and market intelligence at Cox Automotive. “When you couple this with ongoing new vehicle supply shortages and resulting high transaction prices, it’s no wonder people are viewing their car purchases more through the lens of affordability and paying more attention to fuel efficiency benefits of traditional cars and electrified vehicles.”
High gas prices continue to affect purchasing behavior, including increased interest in electrified vehicles
With the highest average gas price on record in mid-June and worsening new vehicle affordability, many buyers in the second quarter sought more efficient and affordable sedans. Of non-luxury buyers, a notable 40% considered cars in the second quarter, up from 37% in the first quarter of 2022 when gas prices began to rise, and up sharply from 33% a year ago in the second quarter of 2021 On the luxury side, too, fuel efficiency rose in importance, climbing quarter-over-quarter to the No. 6 most important factor for buyers. While non-luxury car buyers are likely to be disappointed by low bids in the second quarter, luxury buyers benefited from a more plentiful supply of luxury cars than luxury SUVs.
High fuel prices also likely helped boost interest in electrified vehicles. Considerations for electrified models recovered after a first-quarter decline, returning to near-record levels, due to higher gasoline prices and also a greater selection of vehicles. Of all buyers, 27% considered an electrified vehicle – 19% considered a hybrid/plug-in vehicle and 12% considered an electric vehicle (EV). The 10 best-selling electrified vehicles included six hybrids and four EVs. The segment breakdown included four SUVs, four cars and two trucks. Toyota and Tesla each had three models on the list, while Honda and Ford each had two.
Luxury: BMW retains the title of best-selling luxury brand, followed by Cadillac and Lexus
BMW retained its place as the best-selling luxury brand in the second quarter of 2022, a position it held for three years until the end of 2021 when Lexus briefly overtook the top spot. BMW’s strength in Q2 came from increased purchases of its cars.
Cadillac narrowly edged out Lexus for the second best-selling luxury brand, and the Cadillac Escalade was the top-selling luxury vehicle for the second consecutive quarter. Cadillac benefited from healthy inventory in the second quarter, while Lexus continued to suffer a supply drought. Additionally, Cadillac was likely helped by increased interest in the brand during the second quarter, stemming from the launch of its first EV, the Cadillac Lyriq, and by intriguing hints about the upcoming flagship Cadillac Celestiq EV .
Fuel efficiency and affordability gained importance among luxury buyers in the second quarter. Tesla, Rivian and Lexus, respectively, were perceived as tops in fuel efficiency among luxury buyers. Buick, Genesis and Lincolnrespectively, were seen as the best luxury brands for affordability.
Notably, EV startup Rivian is outpacing other EV startups like Lucid and Polestar, doubling its purchase consideration from Q1 to Q2 2022. While only 2% of luxury buyers considered the brand that started sold vehicles last year alone, Rivian had the same percentage of buyers as Alfa Romeo, a long-established luxury brand. The Rivian has also drawn attention on the list of factors important to luxury buyers, ranking second only to Tesla in fuel efficiency and second only to Land Rover in durability.
Mercedes-Benz had a two percent drop in purchases in the second quarter, the biggest drop of any luxury brand. However, Mercedes benefited from having more inventory in stock and beat BMW in sales for the second quarter. Despite ranking fifth in Q2 purchases, Tesla was again the best-selling luxury brand in the US, and the Tesla Model 3 remained the best-selling luxury car.
Non-luxury: Toyota remains the best-selling non-luxury brand, followed by Ford and Chevrolet
Toyota retained the top spot as the best-selling non-luxury brand, with 35% of all non-luxury buyers considering a Toyota in Q2 2022. Toyota held its top position for four years until Ford’s brief takeover as the no. . 1 in the final quarter of 2021. However, Toyota quickly grabbed it in the first quarter of 2022 and widened the gap in the second quarter, with Ford coming in second. Chevrolet is hot on Ford’s heels, taking third place.
Affordability is now among the top three most important factors for non-luxury car buyers, and fuel efficiency is not far behind at No. 6. Honda, Mazda, Kia and Hyundai, respectively, were seen as the top non-luxury brands for affordability. Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, respectively, were perceived as tops in fuel efficiency among non-luxury buyers.
Honda’s Accord and Civic, along with the Toyota Camry, remained on the best-selling list for the second quarter in a row — as no traditional car was among the top 10 best-selling vehicles in the final quarter of 2021.
See the latest Kelley Blue Book Brand Viewing Reports:
Second Quarter 2022 Kelley Blue Book Brand View Report: Non-Luxury
Second Quarter 2022 Kelley Blue Book Brand View Report: Luxury
Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch Report: Q2 2022: Electrified
About Kelley Blue Book
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The trusted source®, is the vehicle rating and information source trusted and supported by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week the company provides reflective market values on its top-rated website KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Kelley Blue Book® Price Advisor Tool, which provides a range of what consumers can reasonably expect to pay for a vehicle in their area. Car owners looking to sell immediately can also get a transaction-ready offer with Kelley Blue BookSM Instant cash offer. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, vehicle manufacturers, finance and insurance companies and government agencies. Kelley Blue Book is a Cox Automotive brand.
About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive Inc. makes it easier for everyone to buy, sell, own and use vehicles. More than 27,000 team members and the company’s global family of brands, including Autotrader®Dealer.com®dealer®, The Kelley Blue Book®Mannheim®NextGear Capital®VinSolutions®vAuto® and Xtime®, are passionate about helping millions of car buyers, 40,000 car dealer customers on five continents and many others throughout the automotive industry thrive for generations to come. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., a privately held, Atlanta-based company with annual revenue of nearly 20 billion dollars. www.coxautoinc.com
SOURCE The Kelley Blue Book