In an R.L. Polk & Co. study, it was determined that almost half of car sales and leases last year were of the same brand as a previous car they had before – which means that carmakers’ efforts to keep their customers are effective. In this study released on March 31, Polk said that industry brand loyalty increased to 47.9% in 2010 – which is a 13% improvement over 2009.
Brad Smith, the director of Polk’s loyalty management practice, said that in the past, carmakers didn’t do anything to retain their customers and would only gauge how they did at the end of the period.
But now, more carmakers are actively working to influence loyalty. The carmaker that had the strongest customer loyalty in 2010 is Ford Motor Co. while General Motors took second place and Toyota Motor Corp. got third place. In 2010, Ford was able to raise loyalty to 63.1% -- 3.9 percentage points higher from the previous year.
For the same year, the loyalty for GM remained at 59.9%. Loyalty for Toyota Motor Corp. is 58.8%, 0.4 percentage points lower than in 2009.
Smith clarified that the slight drop in loyalty doesn’t indicate that Toyota’s customers have deserted it after the recall crisis. Smith believed that Toyota did a “fabulous job” of responding to the recalls as it had worked hard to disseminate information on the affected products and it also offered more and higher incentives than ever before.