• Jun 5th 2007 at 7:39PM
  • 36
Apparently tough and muscular are favored by truck and SUV buyers. Who knew? In a Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch poll, active car shoppers picked the look of Ford's trucks and non-luxury SUVs over the competition.

Though the poll was done in April, current sales numbers seem to prove it, with some of Ford's pickups seeing more than 50% sales increases over last year despite rising gas prices. Ford recently increased its sales predictions of the Edge, and says its new Expedition had its eighth consecutive month of higher sales in April. Ford's May sales overall were down 10.4%, a drop the company blamed on a cutback in fleet purchases.

The KBB report is good news for Ford, of course, but KBB says it should be very interesting to other carmakers.

"As vehicle reliability reaches near-parity in the market, we predict that exterior styling will play an even bigger role in building new-vehicle sales and brand equity," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst, Kelley Blue Book. "The results of the Brand Watch study demonstrate that the industry is, and should be, placing great emphasis on what their vehicles look like."

The second best looking trucks, according to those polled, are built by GMC, with Chevy third, Dodge fourth and Toyota fifth. Honda brought up the rear in eleventh place. Among SUVs, Ford was first, Toyota second and GMC third. The luxury SUV segment is dominated by imports, with BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz taking the top three spots.

Read the KBB press release here, and Ford's press release after the jump.

DEARBORN, May 16, 2007 - The latest automotive research from Kelley Blue Book's "Brand Watch" says Ford is tops in exterior styling for trucks and SUVs.

The research measured the perceptions of exterior stylishness among active shoppers in various categories. In the truck and non-luxury SUV categories, shoppers rated Ford products number one.

"As vehicle reliability reaches near-parity in the market, we predict that exterior styling will play an even bigger role in building new-vehicle sales and brand equity," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst, Kelley Blue Book. "The results of the Brand Watch study demonstrate that the industry is, and should be, placing great emphasis on what their vehicles look like."

Ford's F-Series remains the best-selling vehicle line in the United States. Along with the F-150, the lineup also includes the Super Duty trucks. Redesigned for the 2008 model year, Super Duties feature a raised nose and enlarged grill and air vents mounted on the fender behind the wheel arch.

Among SUVs, the 2007 Ford Expedition features a bold new exterior design inspired by Ford F-Series pickup trucks. The new Expedition posted its eighth consecutive month of higher sales in April.

The 2008 Escape has a completely new look inside and out, including a new rugged front and a raised belt line for a stronger look. The Ford Explorer remains a top seller in the traditional medium SUV category.

Available to vehicle manufacturers and auto industry professionals, Brand Watch taps into active shoppers to determine their perceptions of automotive brands within specific automotive segments. Brand Watch further delves into how each manufacturer's brand equity differs across vehicle segments, compares the relative standing of each make vs. competitive makes, and reveals the decision factors of car-buyers within each make and segment. Detailed demographic and psychographic information is also collected, reported and detailed throughout Brand Watch's comprehensive study which is available quarterly from Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research.



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  • 36 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      That's because truck/suv owners are shallow insecure people, who want an aggressive, masculine looking vehicle to help them deal with their own insecurities. This way, nobody can accuse them of having a 'girly' car, so they get something SUPER macho just because they don't have enough self esteem to be comfortable with who they are. It's sad really.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The guy writing this article must have just bought stock in Ford and trying to bring the price up. General motors sell more pickups than Ford when you combine total pickup sales.
        • 8 Years Ago
        sure general motors may sell more trucks, but they also have 2 different brands around the same price. ford has the f-series and then the overpriced lincoln truck. bottom line is ford outsells chevy and that's all that matters
          • 8 Years Ago
          Comparably equipped the Lincoln Mark LT is within a few hundred dollars of a Ford King Ranch.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It almost makes a person wanting to tell "blond jokes".
      • 8 Years Ago
      Personally, I think Ford and Dodge go a little overkill on the styling of their trucks. I prefer the GM trucks.

      Toyota? Well, they're a little hopeless... :)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yea Rob only insecure girly boys buy trucks that they actually like the looks of... REAL tough men buy the ugliest aveo's and civics they can find! LOL.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "The second best looking trucks, according to those polled, are built by GMC, with Chevy third, Dodge fourth and Toyota fifth. Honda brought up the rear in eleventh place."

      They go from the most bland, traditional styling (Ford, GMC)to the most unique, unconventional styling (Honda), and it's like a perfect gradient in between. Take a picture of a 1985 Chevy C/K or Ford F-series. Compare the pictures. The more it looks like Dad's old truck, the more "attractive" it is.
      . It sounds like there's a very "Duh!" news flash below the surface here. Truck buyers tend to have conservative tastes. I'm seeing lots of Jeans, brown shoes, short hair, and baseball caps in this voting population!

      Not sure what the comment about the Fusion and Aura was about. The Fusion is indeed a handsome car, but the Aura looks like a knockoff of the previous generation Camry: Same angled-lozenge headlights, same roughly trapezoidal grille, with the chrome emblem top and center. Toss in a Civic grille, and Viola! If you're going to ape something, ape the winner I suppose!
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is great and all but shows no improvement in other segments besides trucks, And Ford already dominates this segment.
      If you look at what people chose for non-luxury sedan, they are all Japanese.
      Hopefully this changes in a few years since the new Accord and Camry really don't look good compared to a Fusion or Aura.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have to agree with the article. Ford Trucks do hit the sweet spot in the looks dept. Not to mention, the interiors on Ford trucks is in league way above ANYTHING coming from the others. The Toyota exterior looks good to me,... too bad the interior looks like a betty crocker easy bake oven.
      dan
      • 8 Years Ago
      How does MB get top 3 in Lux-SUV? Do they even have an SUV? The Infiniti FX is the best looking, best handling, best performing around Lux SUV.

      The people that were polled are idiots.
        Dennis
        • 8 Years Ago
        @dan
        Dan, you must be stupid. Why wouldn't MB make it into the top 3 of luxo-SUVs? They have the G500, which is the toughest Mercedes you can buy with 3-locking differentials, they have the new GL, which is one of the best looking SUVs out there, and they have the ML. And if you want to consider it an SUV, the Mercedes R-Class is part of their lineup as well. They have very good looking trucks, with great quality and that German engineering.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah,,my new F250 is lifted to the sky and I use it to haul lumber and the band equipment. I'm sure a piece of shit car can't do that, i'd rather be in heavy duty truck than a meesly chick car. The way I look at it. Trucks are for men, and cars well are for chicks. ROB your comment is just plain stupid.
      • 8 Years Ago
      My parents have had four of the Super-Duty Fords, and my brother had an F-150 Lariat not long ago. I loved them all, and if I was to buy a truck, I'd be hard pressed not to buy a Ford. It was those trucks that turned me on to Ford, and the Focus I bought my wife has never let me down. In four years, no repairs have ever been needed. Ever. Fix or repair daily? Hardly my experience. That'd be Dodge (I had two). Still love the brand though.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I am so glad to hear that Ford is in the #1 spot!!! Now they just need to keep it up and start making cars that will take over the #1 slots as well.
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