Hyundai is continuing its climb to the top. Kelley Blue Book has declared that the Korean manufacturer has beat out Honda, Toyota, Ford and Subaru in customer loyalty. According to data gathered from online sales at its KBB.com website, a total of 52.3 percent of Hyundai owners researched another Hyundai vehicle as they shopped during the first quarter of this year. Honda, meanwhile, saw 49.7 percent of its owners do the same, and 47.7 percent of Toyota buyers shopped for another of the company's vehicles during the same period. The KBB.com study indicated that 45.4 percent of Ford buyers researched another vehicle in that stable while 44.8 Subaru owners clicked through information on the Japanese automaker's other hardware.

Clearly, vehicle research doesn't exactly translate to owner loyalty, but the fact that so many current Hyundai owners are even willing to take a look at the rest of the company's arsenal is a good bellwether as to whether or not consumers will return to the brand in the future. Hit the jump for the full report.
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Hyundai Ousts Honda, Toyota to Take No. 1 Spot for Brand Loyalty on Kbb.com

Latest Q2 2011 Analysis from Kelley Blue Book's Kbb.com Shows Kia, Mini Also Bucking Loyalty Trends

IRVINE, Calif., July 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book's www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new car andused car information, today announces that Hyundai has ousted traditional mainstays Honda and Toyota to take the No. 1 spot in brand loyalty on kbb.com for Q2 2011. While Hyundai took the top spot in loyalty in February 2010, this marks the first time since kbb.com began tracking this data that Hyundai has held the No. 1 spot for an entire quarter.

Automotive shoppers' loyalty to their respective brands has waned during the past year for the majority of vehicle makes, due to the economic downturn and consumers becoming much more aware of issues such as fuel prices, safety recalls, available vehicle options and additional models within their intended price points.

While many of the auto industry's top players have found themselves struggling to retain customers, Hyundai has blazed a new trail and preserved its loyal consumer base. The driving factors behind this retention have been aggressive marketing campaigns combined with innovative product redesigns like the highly successful 2011 Sonataand 2011 Elantra.

For Q2 2011, Hyundai's brand loyalty was at 52.3 percent, with Honda following at 49.7 percent and Toyota sliding in third at 47.7 percent. Rounding out the top five for Q2 2011 are Ford in the fourth spot at 45.4 percent, andSubaru in fifth at 44.8 percent.

In a time when most brands are losing loyalty, it is notable that fellow Korean automaker Kia also is bucking the trend. Kia is one of only two brands that are up in brand loyalty year-over-year, with the other being Mini. Both Kia and Mini are succeeding in loyalty for reasons similar to Hyundai, with a combined result of attractive redesigns and additional models within their respective lineups, as well as aggressive marketing campaigns.

"Hyundai's product renaissance is benefitting the company not just by attracting an all-new customer base, but by helping them to retain current loyal Hyundai owners, as well," said Arthur Henry, market intelligence manager for Kelley Blue Book. "This latest brand loyalty analysis from kbb.com is a testament to the power of attractive vehicle designs and intriguing marketing in the minds of in-market car shoppers as they consider their next vehicle."

Furthermore, several luxury brands, which have eroded in loyalty over the past few years, have now risen in loyalty for Q2 2011, as well. April and May of this year saw some positive economic signals (such as a sharp drop in gas prices), and as a result, Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence sees prior luxury owners shifting back to the luxury brands they enjoyed when the economy was booming. This is a positive sign for luxury brands such asMercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW, all of which saw quarter-over-quarter increases for Q2 2011 versus Q1 2011, yet all remain down year-over-year.

Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence examines brand loyalty while consumers are still in the shopping phase. For this analysis, loyalty is defined as owners of the brand who are currently shopping the same brand for their next vehicle. This includes data from consumers who view a trade-in page or private party page in addition to a new-car page on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com.

For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com, visit www.kbb.com/media/, follow us on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/kelleybluebook (or @kelleybluebook), or like our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kbb.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      hondafreak1981
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hate Hyundai. They are ugly and cheap! I really!!! can`t understand this! I sell cars and 5 Year old Hyundais look older than 15 Year old Hondas. Why did people buy this piece of sh....??? Honda rulez
        Justin Campanale
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hondafreak1981
        Sorry, this isn't 1994. Grow up.
        jephmercury
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hondafreak1981
        So here's the schizophrenic they were looking for...
        Emil
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hondafreak1981
        I used to have a 02 Sonata. When I sold it 2 years ago it did seem like a 2 y.o. car. Btw it had 178000Km at the time.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        You don't read articles, do you? Because from past comments, it seems you don't ever read them. Kelley Blue Book was the one who posted this study, not AutoBlog.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      "52.3 percent of Hyundai owners RESEARCHED another Hyundai vehicle" Good lord, how can anyone even consider this a reputable survey with such meaningless criteria!?!? I have no doubts that Hyundai is moving up in the minds of consumers, but base your survey on something more than just the fact that a current own jumped on the Hyundai website for 2 minutes. Base it on something meaningful like SALES! KBB should be ashamed of even trying to pretend this is a legit metric, and AB should also be ashamed for giving it enough credibility to post it on their site.
        Jason
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        numbers don't lie you know. Just accpept it.
      Tolitz Rosel
      • 3 Years Ago
      ... this "study" is along the same lines of that "which drivers are most patriotic" article ... the purported conclusions are largely off-base and misleading ... Loyalty isn't based on research and browsing possible options, it's based on actual sales... you can research all you want, but it's ultimately where you use your plastic that matters... mi dos sentimos ...
      ilmhmtu
      • 3 Years Ago
      This particular "research" seems completely pointless.
      Larry Faulkner
      • 3 Years Ago
      I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, CoolCent. ├žom
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Larry Faulkner
        click the 'report abuse' link, guys.
        J
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Larry Faulkner
        The previous announcement brought to you by Larry Faulkner's Midnight Electronics: "Where the prices are HOT and so is the merchandise"
      gefinley
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is the second horribly misleading headline from Bowman today. Embarrassing, pathetic journalism, if it can be called that.
      iutodd
      • 3 Years Ago
      The lack of professionalism on Autoblog continues. It's embarrassing. Seriously, pull this article and fire whoever wrote it because they make you, Autoblog, look even more foolish than before. No one will trust you or listen to your opinions if this is the standard. And yes, I'm writing this on your site, so you're probably making money off of it through ads or something so you probably don't really care what I think as long as I keep coming back. So I might as well say what I really think (cleaned up a bit): I think Autoblog is an incredibly sophomoric operation and there are several high school newspapers with higher quality journalism and higher levels of professionalism. It's a shame too, because you take really pretty pictures and have access to such great cars and have such a great opportunity to present high-quality road tests and important news and could really be a trusted source of opinion and fact...but it's obvious that you don't want to be or do any of those things. Get your **** together. The "research" done by KBB sounds like something they would refer to in the Onion, which is ironic because this article is a joke.
      radiohead
      • 3 Years Ago
      1st!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      William Tomlin
      • 3 Years Ago
      It would make sense for more people to look into Hyundai given their recent efforts. Really solid products out there now, which is what amazes people into researching how they managed to turn around from all the crappy products they made in the past. However I don't understand how that directly translates into Hyundai customers being the "most loyal" at all. The last bit of the story is on point, yet it negates the whole premise of the article at the same time.
      Rebekah K
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey All, My name is Rebekah and I work at Kelley Blue Book. It sounds like there's been a bit of confusion around what 'loyalty' we're referring to in the release above. In this case, when we talk about brand loyalty we are referring to shopping behavior on KBB.com. With over 17 million unique visitors a month, we at Kelley Blue Book have a unique ability to note trends in shopping behavior and we release this data to help inform shoppers and the industry on what trends we're seeing on our site. Typically, this sort of shopping behavior is a leading indicator of sales activity. It's like polling results before a big election; they're not always the same, but they give you a good idea of what's coming. This particular type of brand loyalty is compiled over a three-month period. During that three months, we're looking at the KBB.com shoppers who research trade-in or private party values for a brand (something typically done by an owner getting ready to sell their vehicle) and who are also currently shopping the same brand for their next vehicle. We saw the trend and wanted you to know about it, what you do with the info is up to you. I hope this provides some additional info on where the 'loyalty' we refer to comes from and what goes into these releases. If you have any questions, post away! Rebekah K Kelley Blue Book social@kbb.com
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