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Kelley Blue Book Reveals Most Popular Cars by Region

  • KBB study examines most popular cars by region
  • Study discovers allegiances to brand by location
  • KBB also examined popularity of vehicle types by region 

A new study from automotive analytics firm Kelley Blue Book has revealed which automakers and which vehicle types are the most popular by region. The study separated the country into four regions — West, Midwest, Southeast and Northeast — and examined buying preferences to reach its conclusions. 

According to KBB, car shoppers in the western U.S. are primarily interested in fuel efficiency and style. That’s proven by the fact that such shoppers are 86 percent more likely to consider a Tesla than drivers in the other regions, and that hybrids rank as the most popular automotive segment among drivers in the West. 

Not surprisingly, shoppers in the Midwest are more interested in American-made vehicles. KBB says Midwestern car shoppers are 64 percent more likely to consider a Chrysler than drivers elsewhere in the U.S., and 53 percent more likely to buy a Buick. That makes sense, as the Big Three major American automakers — General Motors, Ford and Chrysler — are all headquartered in the Midwest. So are several major production facilities, along with many automotive suppliers. 

In the Northeast, drivers are especially interested in cars that can handle bad weather. That’s proven by KBB data that says Northeastern car shoppers are 56 percent more likely to consider Subaru, known for its all-wheel-drive lineup, and 45 percent more likely to consider Volvo, known for its safety record and its popular crossovers and wagons. Northeastern shoppers are also more likely to gravitate toward compact crossovers and stay away from full-size SUVs. 

Unlike the other three regions, shoppers in the Southeast are a little harder to pin down. In terms of brand preference, KBB says the South doesn’t have any strong allegiances — though Tesla and Subaru are less popular in the South than they are elsewhere in the U.S. Southern shoppers are also more likely to gravitate toward large SUVs than drivers from other regions. 

Of course, KBB’s data isn’t an exact science. But it still provides an interesting look at automotive popularity by region, and it offers insight about which brands and segments see the highest demand, whether you’re buying or selling. 

What it means to you: Kelley Blue Book data says that where you live may have a lot of influence on which cars you’ll see on the road and which cars you’re likely to consider when it comes time for your next vehicle.

Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More

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