• Mar 8th 2011 at 8:29AM
  • 36
2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T – Click above for high-res image gallery

Hyundai has been on an extended roll these last few years, and car buyers have apparently noticed. The Korean automaker's sales have been steadily climbing, and new products like the Sonata and Elantra only help matters. Winning new customers is obviously a large part of Hyundai's recent success, but it's important to keep current owners in the fold as well.

Hyundai is apparently doing just that, as Brand Keys has named Hyundai the brand with the best customer loyalty. Brand Keys President Robert Passikoff pointed out Hyundai's ability to meet customer expectations, adding that the car maker "scored the highest levels of loyalty when it comes to the Automotive category."

After Hyundai, the top six automakers were Ford at number two, followed by a tie for Honda and Nissan and another dead-lock for BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Hit the jump to read over the press release.

Photos copyright ©2011 Zach Bowman / AOL
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March 4, 2011 -- FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. -- The Hyundai brand continues to grow in 2011, earning the No. 1 spot in the automotive category in the 2011 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index. Brand Keys, a New York-based brand, customer loyalty and engagement consultancy, publishes this annually syndicated study which examines customers' relationships with 528 different brands in 79 categories. For the second year in a row, Hyundai is thehighest ranked brand in the automotive category.

"Hyundai has been able to best meet customer expectations and has, again, scored the highest levels of loyalty when it comes to the Automotive category, taking the #1 spot in our Customer Loyalty Engagement Index," said Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys Founder and President. "Of course, the true test of loyalty and engagement always shows up in the marketplace, so we weren't surprised to see their sales are up again over last year. We congratulate them on another win."

Hyundai's ongoing success is largely attributed to the positive reception of the newly redesigned Sonata and Elantra models, both of which have received significant consumer interest and positive reception since their respective launches. Both these vehicles contributed to Hyundai's great success in 2010, breaking the 500,000 vehicle sales barrier and increasing market share to nearly five percent. Now in 2011, the company's 25th year in the U.S., Hyundai is moving ahead to be the first automaker to achieve a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) rating of at least 50 mpg by 2025 for its lineup of passenger cars and light duty trucks.

"Hyundai is completely committed to our customers with Hyundai Assurance, the industry's most comprehensive consumer protection plan," said Trea Reedy, national manager, Dealer Marketing and Resource Management, Hyundai Motor America. "And, with our strong new lineup filled with stylish, fuel efficient and affordable vehicles, both new and returning customers are keeping Hyundai at the top of their shopping lists."

Automotive brands rounding out the top 5 in the 2011 Index are: Ford (No. 2), Honda/Nissan (tied for No. 3), Mercedes/BMW (tied for No. 4), and Kia/GM (tied for No. 5). For the complete 2011 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, visit http://www.brandkeys.com/awards/.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I did some research on ""Brand Keys", essentially they want to be like another JDPowers. Of course that doesn't happen overnight either..
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a 2005 KIA Sorento 4x4 and have had no problems and I wastowing a 6x12 enclosed trailer with a legends car every weekend. I WOULD buy a Hyundai or KIA again..
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hyundai has come a long way. An acquaintance owns a courier business where 'low key' (as in not drawing attention) is the name of the game and for decades he had been using the cheapest American-made Camry sedans to run his deliveries across the nation. He has since switched to the cheapest Sonata sedans (bought from my brother-in-law's dealership) and he has enjoyed fewer breakdowns and warranty repair claims since he has started using Hyundai Sonata sedans. Hyundai may have tickled the funny bone in the past but these days Hyundai is beating the American-made Camry and Accord for reliability, durability, dependability, quality and value. I do not own any of the above but if I were to buy a sedan in that class, I'd buy a Sonata for sure.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Who the hell is Brand Keys? I think Hyundai made up a rating company and gave themselves an award. Ha.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I checked their website also. It seems their marketing concept is to 'sell' a company survey/marketing services in a way that provides them with a high ranking, and in turn they can use that 'award' in their own marketing in an attempt to increase sales.

      This quote from their own marketing explains it all...

      "The report will quantify the drivers of loyalty and engagement in your category and will tell you how, why, and the degree to which your brand is meeting or exceeding customer expectations."

      It looks like no company who 'buys' a survey from Brand Keys will have a product that does not meet or exceed the customers expectations.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Their sample survey questions are amazing:

        "If Absolut vodka were a person, would it tend to plan things in advance or do things on the spur of the moment?"


        "If Mercedes-Benz were a person, would it like to chat in a group or one-on-one?"

        So who paid for this survey, Autoblog? Brand Keys explicitly sells surveys TO companies. This wasn't for their own benefit.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Kudos Hyundai.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Shouldn't brand loyalty be more long term, like buying that brand over and over for multiple generations?
      • 4 Years Ago
      If a person/couple bought several Fords (either new or used) over a period of a few years, I'd consider that brand loyalty. And if a person such as a Honda owner only considers the same brand of car as the one they are replacing, that is brand loyalty. There are more ways to describe the standards for brand loyalty.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Stupid comments system. This was intended for Pat.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know at least 2 people that are totally loyal to Hyundai. They rack up tons of miles on them and say they are rock solid. Not my cup of tea, but they won't consider any other brand.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Considering sales have just recently skyrocketed at Hyundai, how could they possibly receive a "customer loyalty" award? Someone please explain this to me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My brother has a 2008 Elantra that he loves. Had absolutely no problems with it and highly recommends the brand. And I have two friends with the previous generation Sonata that recommend them. So if you think that Hyundai's quality reputation only extends to the latest generation Sonata/Elantra, you're wrong.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well... If I'm correct, a loyalty survey is asking whether they would buy another car from same company, then calculate the ratio of positive reply. It doesn't matter whether their sales skyrocketed just recently. It's all about a percentage of positive response from current owner.
      • 4 Years Ago
      awesome! come check out Advanced Technology and Design Korea for more related info on gadgets and auto. Lots of reviews of Hyundai, Kia and other Korean brand cars. Keep up the great posts! advancedtechnologykorea.com (facebook.com/advancedtechKOR, or find us on twitter @advancedtechkr).
      • 4 Years Ago
      honestly, this doesn't surprise me anymore.
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