After dealing with flailing global economies, numerous recalls and safety allegations and then the depleted inventory from the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Experian Automotive says that Toyota is finally back on top when it comes to consumer loyalty in the US. Toyota edged out General Motors and Ford Motor Company to grab this loyalty crown for the first time since the third quarter of 2009.
News flash: trucks are popular in the U.S. and subcompacts aren't. While most of the customer loyalty stats we generally hear about are focused on brands, Inside Line recently did a study tracking how loyal customers are to a particular vehicle segment by tracking which vehicles customers trade in when purchasing a new car.
Polk has handed out its annual Automotive Loyalty Award for 2011, and Ford walked away with a total of six honors, including two of the highest. The Dearborn-based automaker took home the top nod in both the Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer award as well as the Overall Loyalty to Make award categories. The manufacturer received both awards in 2010 as well. Ford also received the African American Market Loyalty to Make, and the Ford F-Series and Ford Escape brought down wins in the Mid/Full-Size P
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'
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that General Motors has been unable to hold onto the loyalty of new car shoppers who formerly owned vehicles from one of the automakers now-defunct brands. Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn owners are now turning outside of the GM family for their new purchases.
So, you've found a car that catches your eye. It's attractive, has the features you want and is priced within your budget. Slam dunk, right? Perhaps, but a recent telephone survey administered by Consumer Reports proves that a number of additional factors can affect the decision to purchase a new car... and we don't mean cup holders.
Consumer Reports' latest survey results are another ding for Toyota. While Honda and Ford have made gains in brand loyalty, Toyota's brand loyalty among consumers has dipped 13 percent, causing it to fall from the top position it held at the end of 2009. Honda is in first place now, with 68 percent of Honda owners described as "likely to purchase another Honda for their next new car," followed by Ford with 61 percent loyalty and Toyota with 57 percent.
Ford buyers appear to love their cars more than customers of any other automotive brand, returning back to the American automaker when it comes time to purchase their next vehicle. According to a study by Experian Automotive, six of the top 10 vehicles for customer brand loyalty wear badges from the Blue Oval. That includes the Ford Fusion (62.4 percent), Ford Edge (57.9 percent), Ford Five Hundred/Taurus (56 percent), Ford Freestyle (51.9 percent), Ford Escape (49.4 percent) and the Ford Focus
Now that GM is officially Number Two, many Monday morning quarterbacks are popping up to "help" the general right the ship. Count Alex Taylor III, Fortune's senior writer, among them. In an interesting article, Taylor outlines reasons why GM should cut loose the anchors of Buick, Pontiac, HUMMER, GMC and Saab in order to move forward and prosper. Reckoning that GM is too bloated with brands and capacity that were fine 50 years ago, Fortune says it's time to move on.