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Which Car Brands Have The Most Loyal Shoppers?

Posted in Car Branding, Car Buying, News by Kurt Ernst | July 20th, 2011 | 7 Responses |

When it comes to car buying, consumers tend to fall in one of two camps: the first buys whatever product has the best pricing, the best performance or the best fuel economy, while the second camp buys products from the same manufacturer time and time again. Automakers love brand-loyal customers, since it ensures them repeat business.

For years, it seemed like Honda and Toyota had a lock on customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Both companies ran ads showing families who owned nothing but their cars, and both manufacturers earned a well-deserved reputation for quality. When you’re number one, however, there’s always a target on your back, and both Honda and Toyota seem to be learning this the hard way.

Which company has them in their crosshairs? Below are the top five automakers with brand-loyal customers, according to Kelley Blue Book’ most recent data.

1. Hyundai

In the second quarter of this year, Hyundai’s brand loyalty was at 52.3 percent, thanks in part to value leaders like the new Hyundai Sonata and Elantra. As Japanese automakers are finding out, Hyundai is serious about dominating the U.S. market.

2. Honda

Honda’s brand loyalty remains strong at 49.7 percent, but not strong enough to earn them the number one spot. The automaker seems to have lost their way in terms of both design and product, which has opened the door for Hyundai to grab the number one spot.

3. Toyota

Toyota slipped to number 3 in the second quarter of 2011, with brand loyalty at 47.7 percent. The upcoming Camry redesign will help, as will increasing inventories of their ever-popular Prius hybrid

4. Ford

Ford’s customer loyalty is at 45.4 percent, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see this increase over the coming months. The automaker is making a great effort to train customers on their MyFord Touch / SYNC telematics system, and the company seems to be cranking out an endless stream of new and interesting products.

5. Subaru

The perennial favorite of Vermont and New Hampshire, Subaru has brand loyalty of 44.8 percent. The automaker knows their customer base well, and significant changes to their product line aren’t likely. It it isn’t broken, why fix it?

I’ve owned vehicles from 8 or 9 manufacturers over the years, so I wouldn’t exactly call myself brand loyal. How about you? Do you stick to a single brand, warts and all, or do you buy the best car for the money?

Source: Kelley Blue Book

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7 Responses

  1. Adam says:

    My first car was a 94 Accord (yeah, I’m 24) and my second is a 05 Civic.

    My next car I’m looking for is a VW GTI. I too agree that Honda has lost its way. Their latest interiors just plain aren’t comfortable to me. It seems like the 05 generations were the last Hondas that I like. The new GTI though, love that thing!

  2. PFULMTL says:

    I’m not brand loyal when it comes to cars. My Dad however only buys Toyota since I was a kid. His current cars are a 2010 V8 Tundra, 4Runner, and Corolla S.
    When I told him I was going to get a Subaru soon, he was like “what, you don’t like Toyota” I lol’d. Surprisingly he knew what a Subaru was. He said “they’re fast”, so I know at least he notices other car brands.

  3. Surprising to see Hyundai at the top spot to be honest. I’ve only had two cars my whole life; Honda and a Mercedes and I plan to only drive Mercedes for the rest of my life but I do like BMW’s too and would consider a 5-series. It’s good to have expensive tastes because it will motivate you to work harder. I don’t know if Mercedes is that reliable to be honest; I am having some weird problems with mine (door is not locking right and I have to do it manually) but I feel happier when I drive it.

  4. Djrosa says:

    in my world there are only VAG, BMW and nissan and i dont think that is going to change anytime soon. ive owned a Audi 80 -92 and ive driven alot of diferent cars of different manufacturers and the only cars that isn part of the volkswagen auto group that i would consider buying would be a bmw since they have a pretty good ridecomfort and even better handling, or a nissan pickup for its bulletproof buildquality (i wouldnt say no to a silvia or skyline or fairlady z either)

  5. Austin Schutz says:

    Ford is at the top of my list, but I’d certainly consider other brands. My first car was a 92 Corolla. We had a bit of a love – hate relationship. The love came from the fact that it could move in four different directions, the hate was that it didn’t do it safely, efficiently (27mpg), or quickly. My current car is a 2007 Ford 500 – it feels like a muscle car compared to the Corolla. I love it, and can imagine myself buying many Fords in the future.

  6. J D Stadler says:

    I don’t think I’m brand loyal…to me, the best offering (in my budget) wins. That said, I have had two Hondas, a Chevy (it was free), a Nissan, and now, two Mazdas. For my next car though, I’ve considered virtually every non-luxury make. There’s a lot of good choices these days