Cadillac, Ford, BMW Win Most of Kelley Blue Book’s 2011 Brand Image Awards

April 23, 2011
2011 Cadillac CTS Sedan

2011 Cadillac CTS Sedan

In Kelley Blue Book’s 2011 Brand Image Awards, three automakers score multiple wins with Cadillac taking the lion’s share of three out of ten awards and Ford and BMW, two each. Single category award winners include Toyota, Honda, and Mercedes-Benz.

This is the fourth year of the Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards. Presented to the top brands in ten categories, the awards are based on consumer automotive perception data from the Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence’s Brand Watch Study. An online brand perception tracking study, Brand Watch taps into more than 12,000 in-market new vehicle shoppers annually.


Cadillac wins more awards than any other automaker in the Kelley Blue Book 2011 Brand Image Awards. The three Cadillac Brand Image Awards include: Best Exterior Design Brand in the Luxury category, Best Interior Design Brand and Best Comfort Brand among all classes.

In a statement announcing the winners, Kelley Blue Book’s editors at said that “the Cadillac CTS deserves at least 75 percent of the credit in securing this award (the Best Exterior Design Brand – Luxury). Yes, the big, bad Escalade is impossible to ignore and the SRX crossover is a nice interpretation of Cadillac’s current design ethos, but the CTS sedan is the car that put Cadillac on the design map.”

Commenting on the comfort award, Kelley Blue Book editors said, “Cadillac’s best-selling CTS is a bona-fide sports sedan – rich materials, fancy features and world-class interior design deliver 21st-century comfort.”

Don Butler, Cadillac vice president of marketing, said in a Cadillac press release that the “Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards are significant because they’re based on the perceptions of consumers actively looking to buy a new automobile.” He added that “the awards confirm that Cadillac is setting the standard for exterior and interior design and attracting more people to the brand.”


The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker snags two of the ten Kelley Blue Book’s 2011 Brand Image Awards. For the third year in a row, Kelley Blue Book’s visitors have named Ford the Most Rugged Truck Brand. Editors say that the Ford F-150, the best-selling vehicle in America for 29 consecutive years, “pairing a go-anywhere and do-anything attitude with an enviable list of features, the F-150 is a proven work and play machine.”

Ford also wins the Best Exterior Design Brand – Non-Luxury. Editors comment, “From a refreshed Edge, all-new Explorer, more muscular Mustang and the introduction of the Euro-flavored compact Fiesta, the Dearborn-based automaker has been busy redefining its look.”


“Anyone who’s driven a BMW will understand why the team from Munich won Best Performance Brand for 2011,” say the editors of Kelley Blue Book. “With powerful yet increasingly efficient engines, legendary ride and handling and aggressive looks to match, BMW’s vehicles are the yardstick by which innumerable carmakers measure their products.”

BMW also snagged the award for Coolest Brand, with editors remarking: “Defining ‘cool’ is tricky business, but BMW certainly has most of the boxes checked,” citing effortless performance, avant-garde styling, and heritage worth remembering, desirability, resale value and sales figures.

Jim O’Donnell, BMW North American President and CEO, said in a company press release, “We are redefining performance… Who but BMW would introduce both a full-electric and an M version of the 1 Series Coupe in the same year that it’s introducing a new 6 Series Coupe and Convertible.”


2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe


For the fourth consecutive year Mercedes-Benz takes home the award for Best Prestige Brand and Kelley Blue Book editors say “There’s just something about the three-pointed star and the rich history of sophistication behind it that no competing automaker can touch right now.”



Toyota, winner of the Most Family-Friendly Brand, has a lineup of family-friendly models – including Camry, Highlander and Sequoia – that Kelley Blue Book editors say makes Toyota “set to remain a staple in family car buying for years to come.”


“What defines a good value?” Kelley Blue Book editors comment, “When it comes to new cars, we like to factor in affordability, reliability and good resale value – all of which remain Honda hallmarks.” Acknowledging that other automakers may “push bolder designs” and “optimistic” fuel economy figures, “Honda stays the course with a strong focus on all-encompassing value.”


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[Kelley Blue Book, BMW, General Motors]

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