Honda has taken the top spot away from Toyota in the latest "Customer Retention Study" from J.D. Power and Associates. The global marketing information firm surveyed 147,238 buyers/lessees to determine how likely they were to replace their previously new vehicle with another from the same brand. Honda, for the first time, led the pack with a retention ranking of 64.7%, followed by Toyota (63.2%) and Lexus (60.4%). Mercedes-Benz (58.6%) barely edged BMW (58.5%) for the fourth position. The Germans are being chased by Ford (52.5%) and Chevrolet (52.0%). At the bottom of the list was Jaguar, struggling to retain just 26.2% of its customers (if you are a Jaguar salesman, there is apparently no need to send holiday cards this year).
While JDPA sites Honda's reputation for building safe vehicles with high resale values as instrumental in landing the headline position, they also note that fuel economy, ownership/maintenance costs, and deals/incentives play an increasingly larger role in the process. The firm projects 2009 new vehicle sales will plummet to below 12 million units in 2009, making customer retention more important now than ever before. Check out all of the rankings in the chart after the jump.
[Source: J.D. Power and Associates]