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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.

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