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2011 Hyundai Sonata – Click above for high-res image gallery

It's no secret that Hyundai has been enjoying a healthy dose of praise lately, especially with fresh new products like the Genesis, Tucson and Sonata garnering a lot of media attention. But it isn't just the press that thinks Hyundai is on a roll – Kelley Blue Book now reports that the automaker now holds the Number One spot in brand loyalty, with 56.3 percent of Hyundai owners looking within the brand for new car purchases. Honda continues to hold the second place rank at 55.8 percent, and Toyota, in light of its recent recall woes, is down 4.4 percentage points to 53.3 percent, putting it in the third place spot.

Furthermore, the Sonata is now KBB's fifth most-researched new vehicle, mostly due to the hype surrounding the stylish new 2011 model. The only vehicles ahead of it on the list are perennial mainstays, such as the Honda Civic, Accord, CR-V and Toyota Camry.

KBB market analysts believe that Hyundai should continue to promote its attractive new products, competitive price points and great warranty program in order to keep the momentum going (duh). These analysts also suggest that domestic automakers (Ford and GM, specifically) will prove to be Hyundai's biggest competition in the near future, as these brands are set to roll out a host of new products to win over consumers. Follow the jump to read the full details in KBB's press release.

[Source: Kelley Blue Book]
Show full PR text
Kbb.com: Hyundai Owner Loyalty Speeds Past Honda, Replaces Toyota to Take No. 1 Spot

Hyundai Values Outperform Segment; Sonata Recently Breaks into Top 10 Most-Researched New Vehicles List

IRVINE, Calif., March 15 -- According to the latest Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com Market Intelligence data, brand loyalty for Hyundai recently surpassed that of Honda and Toyota, leading Hyundai's brand loyalty to the No. 1 spot among car shoppers on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com. In addition, Hyundai values have been outperforming the car segment average, and the all-new Sonata recently emerged on the kbb.com Top 10 Most-Researched New Vehicles list.

When comparing February 2010 data to Q4 2009, Korean import automaker Hyundai has seen the greatest recent increase in loyalty, with Hyundai owners looking at new models within the brand increasing by 10.4 percentage points to 56.3 percent. This surge leads Hyundai to the top spot in brand loyalty on kbb.com for the first time in recent history, up from third place in Q4 2009.

In the same timeframe, Toyota fell from the No. 1 spot to third place and Honda continues to hold steady at second place. A fewer percentage of Toyota owners are looking at new models within the brand, down 4.4 percentage points to 53.3 percent, driving Toyota loyalty to third place. Meanwhile, holding steady in second place, Honda owners looking at new models within the brand have increased by 0.7 percentage points to 55.8 percent.

In addition, the Hyundai Sonata recently broke into kbb.com's Top 10 Most-Researched New Vehicles list for the first time. In February 2010, the Sonata was the fifth most-researched new car on kbb.com, with only perpetual 'Top 10 Most-Researched' mainstay Honda and Toyota models such as the Accord, Civic, Camry and CR-V ahead of it.

Furthermore, according to Kelley Blue Book Values data, throughout the month of February 2010 Hyundai outperformed the overall car segment average by a healthy margin. Hyundai values increased 2 percent month-over-month, relative to a 0.3 percent increase for the entire car segment.

"Hyundai is clearly benefiting from 'a perfect storm' - a result of introducing passionate new products like the 2011 Sonata and 2010 Tucson, while Honda's mainstream vehicles like the CR-V and Accord are a bit stale in the marketplace and Toyota is experiencing a huge consumer perception crisis," said James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com. "To sustain this momentum, Hyundai should continue to promote its attractive new-vehicle lineup, solid warranty offer and strong price-points to new-car shoppers. Hyundai's main challenge in the near future will likely come from domestic automakers like Ford and GM as they gear up for battle over buyers starting to look for a change from 'Camry-land.'"

This Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence data analysis examined site traffic to used-car trade-in pages and new-car pricing report pages on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com, and compared loyalty data from Q4 2009 to February 1 - 28, 2010. The Kelley Blue Book Values data within this release represents month-over-month used-vehicle depreciation percentages.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I lol-ed
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm not surprised. If someone has owned a Hyundai since 2001-2002, they usually go for another Hyundai. The Value-For-Money proposition is very high for a Hyundai & combined with great reliability & a long warranty, it shouldn't surprise anyone.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Quote: ""It's the classic immigrant comes to America and makes good story. As most immigrants do, they overcame adversity, busted their asses and earned it.""

        Funny, I don't recall the classic rags to riches immigrant story including billions in subsidies like Hyundai-KIA has gotten.

        My ancestors pretty much arrived at Ellis Island with nothing. They should have arrived in Savannah Georgia, or Mobile Alabama. Maybe then they could have gotten a huge chunk of other prople's money like Hyundai-KIA has.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ AngeloD

        The difference between your family and Hyundai-Kia is that the latter actually contributes to the economies of their respective areas DIRECTLY. With the wild accusations that you seem to be throwing out as a precedent, I could justifiably say that your family did not contribute anything since setting foot on this land. You mad?

        • 5 Years Ago
        Okay, (Speaking to an admin now) I would be the last one for censoring, but could we get uhm, AngeloD's comments removed? He is pissing all over the board with false facts, baseless accusations, and outright ridiculous detractions (Aka sounds like a troll that could go comment in 4chan, not here)

        Anyways, I will admit that I have good bias for Hyundai (along with Ford) because 1. good personal experience 2. I own stock in both of them, but I am truly amazed at how FAR and beyond expectation Hyundai has done to remove their old biases

        "Hyundai makes low quality cars!"
        Number #1 Quality among Non-premium automakers according to JD powers
        "Hyundai can't make an exceptional!"
        2009 North American car of the year Genesis
        "Hyundai cars get crappy mileage"
        Most fuel efficient automaker by EPA
        "Hyundai cars are for cheap, poor people!"
        An average Hyundai in the same vehicle class sold about 97% price that of Toyota. I'd say that's better than lot other non-premium maker.
        "Hyundai has low resale value!"
        2011 Hyundai Sonata Automatic, highest predicted 3 year resale value mid size sedan.

        • 5 Years Ago

        Sound like Japanese nationalist troll.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's the classic immigrant comes to America and makes good story. As most immigrants do, they overcame adversity, busted their asses and earned it.

        Kudos to 'em. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to my family.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I wonder if the Hyundai workers back in the ROK still set themselves on fire during the violent labor protests. We used to call them Hyundai candles.

        Still, it looks like the tens of Billions of direct subsidies from the ROK government and governments of Georgia and Alabama to Hyundai is finally beginning to pay off. Maybe they'll finally start to turn a profit and get away from the constant flirtation with bankruptcy. KIA on the other hand, will continue to teeter on the brink considering their reputation for producing shoddy substandard junk.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No doubt, Hyundai has come a long way since their foray into the US market.

        But, with their resale values remaining extremely low, I'm curious to see what happens: Will the resale values go up as loyalty remains high, or will loyalty dip as resale values remain low?

        • 5 Years Ago

        Everybody ignore the troll. They come out when they feel threatened. Any comments about "copying design", "shoddy cars", and racial remarks against Koreans should instantly be a sign of a hidden agenda.

        Hyundai has done nothing to deserve being hated. They came into America with high hopes and wanting nothing more than to be successful by bringing in the products consumers demand. Design, value, engineering and quality will scare the ignorant, but at the end of the day it is great for the consumer. Isn't that what America is about?
        • 5 Years Ago
        AngeloD's superficial knowledge.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree about high loyalty rate being quite obvious. Whether you like new Hyundai products or not, you have to admit that they have improved alot compared to previous ones, so it's quite obvious that people who managed to force themselves into buying old products, will gladly buy much better new ones.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Quote: ""The difference between your family and Hyundai-Kia is that the latter actually contributes to the economies of their respective areas DIRECTLY. With the wild accusations that you seem to be throwing out as a precedent, I could justifiably say that your family did not contribute anything since setting foot on this land. You mad?""

        Bew Hew..my little Hyundai fanboy feelings are hurt...Bew Hew.

        Face it, Hyundai is nothing but a Korean version of he Japanese vertically integrated conglomerate a la Toyo Koygo, or Mitsubishi. The produce cars by checklist without any passion or originality, and badly.

        I don't consider Hyundai-KIA autos to be completely worthless, they are perfect for where most wind up, in the rental fleets.
        • 5 Years Ago
        AngeloD: What you said was not what in my mind, but I have to agree. I never consider any Korean cars. They have no design language, no true engineering, no originality, no...er too many NOs. Where did they get the engineers? designers?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I own a 2009 Genesis, The dealer support stinks, The suspension is harsh and Hyundai knows it and changed it on new cars mid term but refuses to do anything for owners. That does not breed brand loyality.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Quote: ""Angelo, this article is about customer loyalty.""

      Customer loyalty does not imply desirability in all cases. Most people are going back to Hyundai because they have to save money right now, not because they find them to be particularly nice cars.

      As soon as the economy begins to rebound people will desert Hyundai in droves.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They're nice enough to entice people who have owned them to buy them again. Sneer all you want at that fact, but customer loyalty is high praise indeed here in the real world.
      • 5 Years Ago

      Toyota is down right now its hurting them. Once they get the issues taken care of things should look better on their side. Plus with their lighweight RWD car coming out that should help.

      To be honest....I didnt kno Hyundai has customers whose loyal...I mean the only car that intrest me from Hyundai is the Genesis coupe...the rest are either copy cats are lacking. I mean the Sonata doesnt even over a V6....and when they raced it against the 4 cylinder Camry, the Camry almost won. Hyundai cars are much better then before I give then that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think Toyota current trouble it he news is really going to affect a survey of current owners like this one. I agree Hyundai has nothing that interests me, the Genesis coupe seems like a winner, until you try to price one to be comparable to a 370z, and it actually ends up costing about as much. Maybe if Hyundai would offer a less anemic 4 cylinder it would be a real winner.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If I wanted a NEW car, but couldn't afford "better", then Hyundai is a good choice, and I'd have no shame going back to the well.

        But if I could afford a BMW, then that'd be a different story.

        With the economy in the dumps, people are playing safe and keeping car expenses down. So Hyundai will continue with good repeat business as long as they keep focusing on building a high-quality car. This is their chance to really make good impressions and build word of mouth, like the Japanese in the 70s. It looks like they paid good attention to the old Japanese playbook.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah. So what's your first language?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Possibly true about the FT-86 coming out, but Subaru will be coming out with a similar vehicle. Previous Toyota owners concerned about Toyota's reliability may just hop over to the Subaru camp where their version is "identical", that is if they've done their research. But, that is more likely if the Subaru version does come out in RWD-only guise.

        Then again, it all depends on parts, what features are included in each vehicle, the engineering work done, quality control, etc. We'll see in a few years.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "..and when they raced it against the 4 cylinder Camry, the Camry almost won.
        ...and when they did a braking test the Camry almost had a shorter stopping distance.
        ...and when they did a crash test the Camry was almost safer.
        ...and when they measured the interior space the Camry was almost bigger.
        ...and when they checked the mileage the Camry's was almost better.
        ...and when they did a sudden acceleration test the Camry DID win!

        So clearly the Camry is a better car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        sonata goes 0-60 7.2 seconds to 7.7 seconds

        way faster than most of 4 bangers.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Luis now has a fellow Hyundai basher,AngeloD.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Awww.... How cute (lol) they should marry and make Hyundai-basing kids :)
        Those of you who thinks they can bash hyundai, go ahead, nobody ain't listening bitch.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder if they just look at brand or if they look at manufacturer. For instance, Toyota vs Lexus, Chevy vs Buick, et al.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like how AB didn't mention Chrysler. They still don't have a clue
        • 5 Years Ago
        Quote: ""It must be freakin' magic because none of Chrysler's cars are even remotely competitive with the rest of the market. I visited a Chrysler showroom about a month ago, just terrible cars.""

        B.S. Chrysler has plenty of competitive product that outclasses anything from Hyundai-KIA. Including the 300C, the Challenger, the Caravan-Town and Country Vans, the Ram trucks, the Jeep Grande Cherokee and Wrangler, etc.

        It's not magic. Most Americans recognize Hyundai-KIA as sketchy manufacturers producing a lot of poorly made, immensely boring, transport appliances without an original element to any of them.
        • 5 Years Ago

        If you don't like hyundai/kia, please don't read hyundai/kia topic.

        I only read Hyundai/Kia topics at autoblog, because i like their cars, i have interesting to them. I have no interesting to Chrysler. If you have no love to hyundai, then don't read Hyundai/Kia topics, like me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's because no one cares about Chrysler/Dodge, they haven't done anything cool in years. In addition the quality of their vehicles is lacking severely.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why is it that you always seem to visit all the Hyundai & Kia articles & pour out your hate? I am a Hyundai owner & everytime I visit a Hyundai or Kia article to see what is happening, you seem to always appear out of nowhere & repeat the same old HATE again & again...

        Please learn to be fair & respectful of others(or companies),.... not HATE.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Chrysler still outsells Hyundai/KIA combined, and that's after 12 years of mismanagement from Daimler-Cerebus.

        What's Hyundai/KIA's excuse for still being number 7 in the US market, even after 25 years of trying, and billions in subsidies?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Chrysler still outsells Hyundai/KIA combined, and that's after 12 years of mismanagement from Daimler-Cerebus. "

        It must be freakin' magic because none of Chrysler's cars are even remotely competitive with the rest of the market. I visited a Chrysler showroom about a month ago, just terrible cars.

        I suspect they're surviving on brand loyalty from the same type of people that stuck with GM when they were building some of the crappiest cars on the planet. (Don't hate please, GM and Ford fan here)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, a percentage of the Hyundai owners probably think that they own Hondas.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fools some of you. How many can atest to being in and out of Hyundai's on a daily basis?
      I valet cars at a resort. From the Genesis coupe, to the Accent, Hyundai's have the Japanese beat at the economy segment, as the Japanese move higher up market.

      Hyundai's SUVs on the other hand, are quite another thing...
      • 5 Years Ago
      looks like all that hard work is paying off. I could see anyone with an outgoing tuscon, sonata, etc, being stoked about geneuinely huge improvements in the new models and staying with the brand as a result, plus the warranty bit,e tc.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yup, organic growth is key in this economy. i saw a white sonata yesterday, new body style for the first time, in coroando of all places. looked great on the road, the fronts rakish but not any worse than the avalon.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly. If you bought a Hyundai *before* these updates, you'll *gladly* upgrade to the better looking cars and better equipped in that class.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Also Bill, an estimated 1 in 10 jobs in this nation is directly dependent on DOMESTIC manufacturers. We think it's bad now just keep being a traitor and we WILL see and live with the result.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The only thing I see is the U.S. becoming more advanced without pouring its efforts in a business sector it is no longer competitive in. Instead of having overpaid factory workers do menial work, they will be forced to enhance their professional abilities through education and technical training. Leading to them finding work in business sectors that have potential for growth and U.S. leadership. The faster people realize this, the faster the U.S.economy can continue to evolve.

        What you want is Protectionism and that is a backward way of thinking. The U.S. should continue to put its efforts into innovating and leading new business sectors. Americans should not be forced to support a business sector that is no longer globally competitive.

        You think Japan, Korea and other foreign countries shun U.S. goods; entertainment (movies and television shows), American fast food (McDonalds) and beverages (Coca-Cola), operating systems (Windows, Leopard)? Absolutely not, because wanting the best for your money is a universal concept.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you research the trade #'s , they do not buy many of our cars, anywhere.Also remember their [japan] cash for clunkers went on for 2 months before they allowed "some" of our cars in their program. How many of our shoes,shirts,textiles,furniture etc... do they buy ? shall I go on. the trade is nowhere near even,or fair and EVERY time any american buys foreign cars made by foreign companies even if made here,70-80 % of the revenue goes to their already much healthier economy.When we buy american owned companies products even if made in mexico[escalade] the opposite is true. So in my opinion, the US is always better off when buying domestic. Why would I, or you, I would hope, want to intentionally harm my own economy or it's future. I would much rather help it, and I pray the rest of the US would begin to see the importance of their "freedom" to choose what to buy, but not free to control the consequence of the purchase.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mitch: I'm just a European, so feel free to disregard my comment. The consumer should buy what car he thinks is best for his needs and has the best value. If it's a domestic, buy a domestic. If it's Chinese/Prussian/Lilliputian, buy that.

        Ask yourself: what helps the US ecnomy more? A domestic made in Mexico but sending money back to US corporate executives, or a Korean car made in Alabama supporting American workers and sending money to Korean executives?

        The "buy home-made cars" only really works with smaller countries with fledgling auto industries IMO. As a Bulgarian, I would gladly buy a Bulgarian car if it was reasonably competitive, but if I was German? Fat chance.
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