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Q2 2021 Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch Report: Shopping Consideration Increases for Electrified Vehicles; Toyota, Tesla and Honda Dominate

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Tesla again dominated for the most-shopped EVs, though it is starting to see some competition from newcomers, while Toyota and Honda led for most-shopped hybrids, according to the Q2 2021 Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch™ report.

The report is a consumer perception survey that also weaves in consumer shopping behavior to determine how a brand or model stacks up with its segment competitors in a dozen factors key to a consumers’ buying decision. Kelley Blue Book produces a separate Brand Watch report for non-luxury and luxury brands each quarter, which now includes a closer look at electrified vehicles, that is electric vehicles, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles.

Shopping consideration for electrified vehicles overall increased in the quarter, and so did sales, which set a record of 250,000 units sold in the quarter. Of all vehicle shoppers – luxury and non-luxury – 20% shopped for an electrified vehicle, a percentage that has been on the rise since the end of 2020. About 8% of consumers considered a totally electric vehicle, also a percentage rising since the end of last year. Hybrids took the biggest chunk – 15% of shoppers considered a hybrid, on the rise and at a new high.

Overall Quarterly Consideration Trend

Shopping and sales of EVs and hybrids are likely to continue to rise in light of President Biden’s goal of 50% of all new-vehicle sales being EVs or plug-in hybrids by 2030 as well as the flurry of new models that are to be introduced in the coming years. The challenge, however, is availability. Like all other vehicles, electrified ones have suffered production cuts due to the global computer chip shortage.

Tesla dominated EVs; newcomers gain ground

The Tesla Model 3 was the most-shopped EV, and the second-most shopped electrified vehicle. The Model Y was the fourth most-shopped electrified vehicle. The Model S was No. 8 most-shopped.

The Top 10 list saw two newcomers. The new Ford Mustang Mach-E, a first-timer among the most-shopped electrified vehicles, squeezed between the Model Y and Model S at No. 5. The Chevrolet Bolt made it on the list for the first time, tying for No. 10.

Quarterly Top Considered Electrified Models

Meantime, challenges lie ahead for Ford and Chevrolet as well as Tesla.

GM expanded its recall of Chevrolet Bolt EVs to cover all of those made since 2017 as they are at risk of overheating and catching fire due to manufacturing defects. GM idled the Michigan plant that builds the Bolt and issued a stop-sale order for Bolts while owners await replacement battery modules.

Ford notified consumers who ordered the Mustang Mach-E that delivery of their vehicles could be delayed by as much as six weeks due to the chip shortage.

At the same time, some Tesla customers are experiencing waits of weeks or months for their cars, and Tesla’s promised delivery dates keep slipping, suggesting Tesla is having production issues.

Toyota, Honda lead in hybrids

The Toyota RAV4 hybrid repeated as the most-shopped electrified vehicle. Toyota has the most models on the Top 10 list of most-shopped electrified vehicles. Making the list beyond RAV4 were Prius at No. 6, Camry at No. 7 and Highlander at No. 9.  Toyota may be challenged as well. Its hybrid models have been in extremely short supply. And now Toyota is being forced to cut 40% of its global production plans through September due to the chip shortage.

The Honda CR-V hybrid was the third most-shopped electrified vehicle, and the Honda Accord hybrid tied for 10th place with Chevrolet Bolt.

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