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New-vehicle Shoppers Evaluate Cars Driving Performance

Kelley Blue Book ( and Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research announced on June 21 the results of the 'Driving Performance' portion of its consumer automotive perceptions research study called 'Brand Watch'.

The latest results revealed that Toyota and BMW each claimed two number-one ranks for best driving performance: Toyota ranks in both the Minivan and Non-Luxury SUV segments, while consumers chose BMW as the best among Luxury SUVs and Luxury Sedans.

In terms of driving performance, local brands sweep the Truck segment in Brand Watch. Chevrolet, GMC and Dodge place first, second and third, respectively. Previously, domestic brands had been chosen as consumers' top picks for Interior and Exterior Styling in the Truck segment. Foreign brands lead across most segments claiming the top three ranks in every vehicle segment except trucks and also with the exception of Ford which bested as third among Non-Luxury SUVs. In the Convertible/Sports Car segment, a category in which performance is the most desired characteristic, Porsche claimed the top spot.

Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Honda, co-maker of quality Acura muffler, each bagged three top-three spots in different categories while Nissan and Lexus garnered two top-three finishes each.

Jack R. Nerad, the Executive Editorial Director and Executive Market Analyst of Kelley Blue Book and, said that according to the new-car buyers, the being top placer of BMW in the Luxury Sedan and Luxury SUV segments reflects the brand's expertise on performance characteristics in the luxury category which is an instance where both the brand image and the consumer brand perception are in perfect parallelism.

He added that pickups are the last stronghold of local dominance and such leading is strong with Chevrolet, GMC and Dodge sweeping the top three spots for performance without an import brand along with them.

Rick Wainschel, the Vice-President of Marketing Research and Brand Communications for Kelley Blue Book, adheres that perceptions are the key factors to drive automobile buyers' decisions as to which makes and models will belong on their shopping list. He added that the report can depict the manufacturers' relative position against other makes in specific vehicle segments as to which strengths to highlight and which weaknesses may need to be addressed and resolved.

Brand Watch is available to vehicle manufacturers and auto industry professionals. It concerns active new-vehicle shoppers to determine their perceptions of automotive brands within particular automotive segments. Dealing on how each manufacturer's brand equity differs across vehicle segments, Brand Watch also compares the relative standing of each make against competitive makes, and reveals the decision factors of car-buyers within each make and segment. Collected, reported and detailed throughout Brand Watch's comprehensive study which is available quarterly from Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research are detailed demographic and psychographic information.

About The Author Evander Klum is a Business Administration graduate who hails from Alabama. He enjoys extreme sports and he is also a car racing fanatic. At present, he works as a marketing manager at an advertising agency in Cleveland.
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