Car News

Brand Loyalty Studies Show Mixed Results

RELATED READING
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon

author photo by Nick Palermo October 2011

Car shoppers returning to a dealership to buy another vehicle of the same brand represent a strong endorsement of their satisfaction with their chosen marque. Two research firms, Experian and Kelly Blue Book (KBB), track brand loyalty and release their findings on a quarterly basis. While the results vary, a few manufacturers are clear leaders by either study's measure. Hyundai and Kia are seeing a rise in loyalty in the most recent KBB and Experian studies, while Ford and Toyota are strong finishers in each firms' last two reports.

KBB's newly released third-quarter results show Hyundai with the top honors for brand loyalty, followed by Toyota, Subaru, Kia and Ford. Meanwhile, Experian lists Kia, Ford and Chevy in the top three, with Hyundai and Toyota taking fourth and fifth place, respectively. The report from Experian trails by a quarter. Variation in the results is expected due to different time periods the firms are reporting.

Although the statistics vary, a few trends are evident. Kia and Hyundai are clearly improving their loyalty standings with customers, drawing previous buyers back to their dealerships in record numbers. These sister Korean brands are replacing Japanese manufacturers that have long enjoyed top positions in brand loyalty.

Honda appears to be suffering most from falling loyalty. Hyundai knocked the Japanese automaker out of Experian's most recent top five. Meanwhile, Kia grabbed KBB's fourth position while Honda fell from the top five for the first time since the firm began tracking loyalty.

Ford and Toyota are strong finishers in each firm's last two brand loyalty studies and the only manufacturers to appear in the top five for all four lists. However, in results from both Experian and KBB, Ford's customer loyalty is falling. According to Experian, Toyota has dropped in the rankings from Q1 to Q2. But KBB shows a rise for Toyota from Q2 to Q3.

Experian and KBB use different metrics to determine brand loyalty, but the overall picture is more important than the quarterly rise and fall in brands' rankings. In most cases, a top five ranking means over 40% of buyers are returning for another vehicle from the same manufacturer. Any automaker with high rankings in brand loyalty earns the endorsement that returning customers represent.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Brand Loyalty Studies Show Mixed Results - Autotrader