Toyota dealers are low on cars. All the same, more American car shoppers consider a Toyota
than any other brand. Fully 35% of American car shoppers looked closely at buying a Toyota product last quarter, even though Toyota dealers consistently had among the lowest inventory of any car brand. Low inventory drives high prices. In fact, Toyota has begun to publicly discuss raising prices on its products.
The numbers come from Kelley Blue Book’s third quarter Brand Watch survey — a consumer perception survey that also weaves in shopping behavior to determine how a brand or model stacks up with its segment competitors on a dozen factors key to a consumer’s buying decision. Kelley Blue Book produces separate reports covering luxury car shoppers and those shopping for hybrids and electric cars. We expect to publish those figures shortly.Toyota’s lead keeps growing even when they’re low on inventory Toyota has held the top spot for most of the past five years. So its win is unsurprising in some ways. The Japanese automaker widened its lead in the third quarter. It now leads second-place Ford
by 5%. Chevrolet came in just behind Ford at 29%. Honda
was the only other automaker close at 24%, followed by a gaggle of brands in the 9% to 15% range. Toyota’s lead is surprising because the world’s largest automaker has been hit hard by the ongoing microchip shortage, COVID-19-related factory shutdowns in Asia, and other supply-chain challenges. Toyota dealers ended October with an average of 10 days’ supply of cars to sell, compared to 28 days for second-place Ford and 26 days for General Motors
Before 2020, it was common for automakers to try to keep at least six weeks’ supply of vehicles in stock. The n …