When it comes to customer loyalty, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. have gotten the lead over Toyota Motor Corp., according to researcher Experian Automotive. The fashionable sedans and small cars from the U.S. automakers have helped them gain ground over Japan car companies. Experian reported that in the fourth quarter, 47% of Ford vehicle owners who went to buy another vehicle acquired either a Ford or a Lincoln.
GM had a loyalty rate of 47.7% while Toyota had 46.9%. For several decades, Ford, GM and Chrysler Group LLC have been losing car buyers to Japanese automakers like Toyota and Honda but the U.S. automakers are now gaining back their customers with vehicles like the Fusion sedan.
Researcher LMC Automotive said that next year, the share of the Detroit automakers of the U.S. small- and mid-size car market is expected to increase by 33% in 2014, from a share of 26% in 2009. In a statement, Jeffrey Anderson, director of consulting and analytics for Experian Automotive, said that Ford has cultivated very loyal customers throughout its broad variety of vehicles.
He also said that customer loyalty will consistently serve to be a vital measure of car sales success. Of the top 10 individual models in terms of loyalty, Ford owns a record eight of them. The list is topped by the Fusion, with 60% of those who own this model going back to buy another model from the automaker. The two models in the top 10 that are not from Ford are Kia Motors Corp.’s Forte sedan and Chevrolet's Sonic small car.