In July, Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company ousted Nissan Motor Company from fifth place in Kelley Blue Book’s (KBB) list of most-considered new car brands by U.S. consumers. KBB’s second-quarter Brand Watch report marks the first time Hyundai has placed in the top five.
Nissan fell from its former fifth position to sixth place on the list. Hyundai was joined in the top-five by fellow Asian automakers Toyota and Honda, in second and fourth positions, and domestic carmakers Ford and Chevrolet in first and third positions respectively.
The study found that Hyundai consideration rose nearly 6% in the coupe/sedan/hatchback non-luxury segment. Hyundai captured 29% of the total consideration among consumers shopping for a vehicle in the segment. Honda garnered 45% of the total segment consideration with Toyota and Ford capturing 42% and 38% respectively.
The study included responses from 3,000 new-vehicle shoppers collected between April and mid-June.
For overall brand consideration, regardless of segment, Ford ranked highest with a 29% consideration. Despite its ongoing recall problems, Toyota placed second with a 22% consideration, followed by Chevrolet with a 21% consideration and Honda in fourth position with a 20% consideration.
Ford Motor Company excelled in consideration among non-luxury sport utility vehicle / crossover utility vehicle shoppers, capturing 46% of the total segment consideration, up 4% from Q1. Honda and Toyota tied with 35% consideration.
Hyundai’s move into the top five appears to indicate that the automaker’s efforts to improve U.S. consumers’ perception of the brand are indeed paying off. In a statement, KBB executive market analyst Jim Bell said, “The deck is being reshuffled in the automotive marketplace. Ford continues its upward trajectory, and Hyundai is truly on a roll. Both brands,” he said, “prove that when you make dramatic, exciting and affordable products that appeal to the new-car shopping masses, consumer perception begins to change and subsequently, sales will follow.”
Ford has seen its domestic sales increase 27% during the first seven months of 2010, to just over 1 million units compared with the same period in 2009. During the same period, Hyundai’s U.S. sales have increased 24% to nearly 310,000 units. During the seven month period, industry-wide U.S. sales increased 15% to nearly 6.7 million units.
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