Leading New-Car Interior and Exterior Designs Named in Q2 Brand Watch Study

Brand Perceptions of In-Market New-Car Shoppers Revealed in Quarterly Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research

IRVINE, Calif.

Kelley Blue Book http://www.kbb.com/ Marketing Research today announces the second quarter 2008 results of its consumer automotive perceptions research study, Brand Watch. The highly comprehensive Brand Watch report provides a detailed review of in-market new-car shoppers' brand perceptions, and important factors affecting their purchase decisions as they are engaged in the shopping process. With vehicle styling playing a significant role in the decision-making process, Brand Watch is releasing the top results for best exterior and interior design.


  Non-Luxury Sedan/Coupe/Hatchback Segment: HONDA
  Luxury Sedan/Coupe/Hatchback Segment: BMW
  Non-Luxury SUV Segment: FORD (http://www.kbb.com/KBB/NewCars/Ford.aspx)
  Luxury SUV Segment: LEXUS (http://www.kbb.com/KBB/NewCars/Lexus.aspx)
  Truck Segment: CHEVROLET (http://www.kbb.com/KBB/NewCars/Chevrolet.aspx)
  Minivan Segment: TOYOTA (http://www.kbb.com/KBB/NewCars/Toyota.aspx)
  Sports Car/Convertible Segment: PORSCHE

  BEST Interior DESIGN:
  Non-Luxury Sedan/Coupe/Hatchback Segment: TOYOTA
  Luxury Sedan/Coupe/Hatchback Segment: LEXUS
  Non-Luxury SUV Segment: GMC  (http://www.kbb.com/KBB/NewCars/GMC.aspx)
  Luxury SUV Segment: CADILLAC
  (http://www.kbb.com/KBB/NewCars/Cadillac.aspx) & MERCEDES-BENZ
  (http://www.kbb.com/KBB/NewCars/Mercedes-Benz.aspx) (TIE)
  Truck Segment: CHEVROLET (http://www.kbb.com/KBB/NewCars/Chevrolet.aspx)
  Minivan Segment: HONDA (http://www.kbb.com/KBB/NewCars/Honda.aspx)
  Sports Car/Convertible Segment: AUDI

"The results of the latest quarterly Brand Watch report show that consumers' perceptions of domestic brands remain strongly favorable in many categories, particularly in the truck segment, even in the midst of the current tough automotive marketplace," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial editor and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. "New-car shoppers also are taking note of brands that are adding models to their new-vehicle lineup, such as Audi in the sports car/convertible segment, resulting in heightened positive brand perception."

Now available to vehicle manufacturers and auto industry professionals, the second quarter 2008 Brand Watch report taps into active new-vehicle shoppers to determine their perceptions of automotive brands within specific automotive segments. Brand Watch examines how each manufacturer's brand equity differs across vehicle segments, revealing car-buyers' decision factors within each make and segment. Detailed demographic and psychographic information also is collected, reported and detailed throughout Brand Watch's comprehensive study.

Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research's Second Quarter 2008 Brand Watch Study also examines:

  -- Important factors driving purchase decisions in each vehicle segment
  -- Perceptions of styling/design, driving performance,
     durability/reliability and comfort for each make and segment
  -- Key psychographic profiles of buyers within each vehicle segment
  -- Perceptions and consideration trended among domestics and imports
  -- Individual profiles for the top 27 makes
  -- The top makes considered by shoppers in each vehicle segment

"Brand Watch provides tremendous insights into the minds of in-market new-car shoppers, the very people upon which the future sales and profits of the automakers rest," said Rick Wainschel, senior vice president of marketing and analytics for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. "In these tough economic times, especially in the auto industry, consumers voicing their opinions via studies like Brand Watch help automakers better understand how their brand is perceived right now, and allow them to make real-time marketing decisions that will positively affect their bottom line."

The Brand Watch results from the second quarter of 2008, compiled by Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research, reflect the brand perceptions of more than 3,000 active, in-market vehicle shoppers. Each quarter, Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research collects the results in 17 main categories, including best exterior design and interior design, among the seven major vehicle segments.

Based on the entire year of 2008 Brand Watch report data, Kelley Blue Book will host the second annual 2009 Brand Image Awards (http://www.kbb.com/kbb/ReviewsAndRatings/BrandImageAwards.aspx) Dinner and Ceremony in New York City during the week of the New York International Auto Show in April. In addition to announcing the annual winners in the 17 main categories, three overall category winners also will be named: Best Overall Exterior Design; Best Overall Interior Design; and Best Overall Prestige Brand.

For Brand Watch sales inquiries on any vehicle segment or brand, please contact Kelly Kim, director of marketing research services for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com, at 949-268-2756 or kkim@kbb.com.

About Kelley Blue Book (http://www.kbb.com/) Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, has provided vehicle buyers and sellers with the new and used vehicle information they need to accomplish their goals with confidence. The company's top-rated Web site, http://www.kbb.com/, provides the most up-to-date pricing and values, including the New Car Blue Book® Value which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. The company also reports vehicle pricing and values via products and services, including software products and the famous Blue Book® Official Guide. Kbb.com is rated the No. 1 automotive information site and the most visited auto site nine years in a row. http://www.kbb.com/ is a leading provider of new-car prices (http://www.kbb.com/kbb/NewCars/default.aspx), car reviews (http://www.kbb.com/kbb/NewsAndReviews/default.aspx) and news (http://www.kbb.com/kbb/LatestNews/Default.aspx), used-car blue book values (http://www.kbb.com/kbb/LatestNews/Default.aspx), auto classifieds (http://www.kbb.com/kbb/Classifieds/default.aspx) and car dealer locations (http://www.kbb.com/kbb/FindaDealer/Default.aspx). No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than kbb.com; nearly one in every three American car buyers performs their research on kbb.com.

First Call Analyst:
FCMN Contact:

SOURCE: Kelley Blue Book

CONTACT: Robyn Eckard, +1-949-268-3049, reckard@kbb.com, or Joanna
McNally, +1-949-268-3079, jmcnally@kbb.com, or Brenna Robinson,
+1-949-267-4781, berobinson@kbb.com, all of Kelley Blue Book

Web site: http://www.kbb.com/

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