Key to the survival of any business are repeat customers, and automobiles are no different. The data miners at R.L. Polk & Company have announced the winners of their 2009 Automotive Loyalty Award after wading into facts and figures tracking customer loyalty to automotive nameplates. This is the 14th year Polk has presented the awards, and three new categories noting loyalty among specific ethnic groups were added this year.

Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer went to Toyota, unseating General Motors from its nine-year run. Toyota cleaned up two more categories - Mid/Full-Size Car for the Toyota Prius and Mid/Full-Size SUV for the Lexus RX - and also secured one of the new ethnic category awards, taking home the honors for Asian-American brand loyalty.

Honda took awards for Overall Loyalty to Make as well as picking up the new African-American and Hispanic loyalty awards. Most Improved Loyalty went to Audi for its 4.9 percent bump in customer retention. Ford's F-Series pickup and Mustang ponycar won their respective categories, while the Subaru Forester, Range Rover, and Chrysler Town & Country repeated wins in their segments. The BMW 3 Series, Mini Cooper, and Porsche 911 also took home hardware. More details are given in the press release posted after the jump.

[Source: R.L. Polk & Co.]


PRESS RELEASE


Polk Announces 2009 Model Year Automotive Loyalty Award Winners

Toyota and Honda Win Top Honors in 14th Annual Event

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (January 12, 2010) – Toyota and Honda took top honors in R. L. Polk & Co.'s 14th Annual Automotive Loyalty Awards, which were presented this evening at the 2010 Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. Four new awards were presented including the Most Improved Loyalty to Make, which was won by Audi. In addition, three new ethnic loyalty awards were presented.

Edging out General Motors for the first time in nine years, Toyota ranked number one in Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer, indicative of the manufacturer's ability to retain previous customers. Toyota also won top honors in the Mid/Full-Size Car and Mid/Full-Size SUV categories for the Toyota Prius and Lexus RX respectively, and received the new award for brand loyalty among Asian American consumers.

"After an extremely difficult year for the auto market, winning four Polk Loyalty Awards is a real boost for us," said Jim Lentz, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "We're especially grateful to our dealers and customers for their trust in Toyota, Lexus and Scion."

Honda also was a big winner, taking top honors in the Overall Loyalty to Make category and winning the newly introduced African American and Hispanic Loyalty to Make Awards, which recognize customer loyalty among these ethnic groups.

Audi won top honors in the Most Improved Loyalty to Make category. The award, introduced this year, honors the make that recorded the largest percentage point improvement in loyalty for the 2009 model year. Audi recorded a 4.9 percentage point increase in its customer loyalty.

Ford garnered two awards: The F-Series earned the Mid/Full-Size Pickup nod and Mustang repeated in the Sports Car category. Other repeat winners included Subaru Forester in the Compact SUV segment, Land Rover Range Rover in the Luxury SUV category, and Chrysler Town & Country which has won the Minivan segment for the past eight years.

Other winners honored in tonight's ceremony included the MINI Cooper in the Compact Car category; BMW 3 Series in the Luxury Car segment; and the Porsche 911 in the Luxury Sports Car category.

"Maintaining a solid loyal customer base is not easy, but it is essential to survive in today's competitive environment," said Stephen Polk, chairman, president and CEO of R. L. Polk & Co. "Tonight's winners are all excellent examples of what customer retention can do for your brand and your bottom line."

About The Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards
The Polk Manufacturer Loyalty Excelerator™ Report, is the basis for the Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards. This report was introduced to the automotive industry in 1995 and was created to provide the latest insights into household consumer loyalty to automotive manufacturers at many different levels. It is now used to provide loyalty percentages for the entire automotive industry and allows for cross-industry comparisons of loyalty behavior. The report measures loyalty throughout the entire model year so that manufacturers may keep abreast of loyalty trends as they occur in the industry.

The Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards recognize manufacturers for superior owner loyalty performance. Loyalty is determined when a household that owns a new vehicle returns to market and purchases or leases another new vehicle of the same model or make. For a complete list of current and past Polk Automotive Loyalty Award winners, please visit http://usa.polk.com/Company/Loyalty/.

About R. L. Polk & Co.
R. L. Polk & Co. is the premier provider of automotive information and marketing solutions. Polk collects and interprets global data, and provides extensive automotive business expertise to help customers understand their market position, identify trends, build brand loyalty, conquest new business and gain a competitive advantage. Polk helps automotive manufacturers and dealers, automotive aftermarket companies, finance and insurance companies, advertising agencies, media companies, consulting organizations, government agencies and market research firms make good business decisions. A privately held global firm, Polk is based in Southfield, Mich. with operations in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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Polk Automotive Loyalty Award Winners – 2009 Model Year