IRVINE, CA – Thanks to a series of popular vehicle redesigns across its lineup, Lexus shopper loyalty has increased 9.2 percentage points year-over-year among www.kbb.com new-car audience, according to Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new and used car information.
For Q4 2012, Lexus ranked highest among all luxury brands in terms of shopper loyalty on KBB.com. Overall, Lexus sits in the No. 2 position, just behind its non-luxury counterpart Toyota in the No. 1 position. In addition, Lexus has a lead of more than 10 percentage points over the second-highest luxury brand Audi, which currently is No. 9 on the list. One year ago, there were only 2 percentage points separating the two brands, so interest in Lexus has significantly increased among new-car shoppers on KBB.com in the last year.
*KBB.com defines shopper loyalty as new-car shoppers reconsidering their current vehicle brand for their next purchase.
“Lexus recently redesigned its GS, ES, RX and LS, and each model has played a part in driving increased interest to the brand among KBB.com new-car shoppers, while also influencing current owners to again consider the manufacturer for their next purchase,” said Akshay Anand, market intelligence Web analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com. “Lexus has moved in a bold new direction with its vehicle styling, even creating a signature feature with its unique ‘spindle grille,’ while also catering to financial-minded shoppers by winning the prestigious title of Best Resale Value: Luxury Brand in Kelley Blue Book’s 2013 Best Resale Value Awards.”
Holding the No. 1 spot for five consecutive quarters, Toyota maintained its stride as the shopper loyalty leader during Q4 2012, followed closely by Honda in the No. 3 spot with a 3 percentage point gain year-over-year. Honda’s success can be attributed to its popular redesigned CR-V and Accord, as well as the refreshed Civic. The Accord has been the most-shopped vehicle on KBB.com since its redesign for the 2013 model year, while the CR-V was the most-shopped new vehicle on all of KBB.com in 2012. The Civic also has been among the top five most-researched vehicles since its recent refresh.
While Hyundai and Kia have garnered tremendous success during the past few years, these brands have dropped in shopper loyalty among KBB.com’s new-car audience. Hyundai was the No. 1 brand in terms of shopper loyalty on KBB.com in Q2 2011 and Q3 2011, and held the No. 2 position from Q4 2011 – Q3 2012. Hyundai continued its slow fall to No. 4 in Q4 2012, while Kia dropped from its No. 3 spot between Q4 2011 and Q2 2012 to the No. 7 position in Q4 2012.
“Hyundai and Kia’s declines in shopper loyalty can be attributed to the lack of redesigns or refreshes in the last year from both Korean companies for their staple vehicles,” said Anand. “The Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima were redesigned to rave reviews a couple of years ago, but with many all-new redesigns coming from competitors in the last year, current Hyundai and Kia owners are looking to other brands as an alternative.”
Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence examines shopper loyalty while consumers are still in the shopping phase. For this analysis, shopper loyalty is defined as owners of the brand who are currently shopping the same brand for their next new vehicle. This includes data from consumers who view a trade-in page or private party page, in addition to a new-car page on Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com.
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About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. KBB.com provides consumer pricing and information on cars for sale, minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader Group.