J.D. Power study: Ford, Honda tied for top with 62% customer retention rates

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 13, 2010

With a 62% customer retention rate, Ford and Honda are tied for the top place in a survey conducted among automotive brands in the U.S. this year, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

In this annual Customer Retention Study, the two mass-market carmakers breezed past Mercedes-Benz. J.D. Power said that Ford climbed five spots from 56% in 2009 while Honda rose one spot from 64% last year.

On the other hand, Mercedes fell five spots, from 66% in 2009 to 59% in 2010. Ford’s higher retention rate is believed to be driven up by Edge, F-Series and Fusion models.

Meanwhile, Honda's retention was driven by the Accord, CR-V and Pilot. Raffi Festekjian, director of automotive product research at J.D. Power and Associates, said that Ford has been coming up with products that have “vehicle appeal…good styling and are fun to drive.”

He said that for Honda, the appeal stems from the resale value. The brand loyalty to Kia Motors went up the most, going up 21 percentage points to a 58% retention rate.

Overall, the average customer retention rate for the industry is unchanged at 48%; however, the rankings of some brands had shifted. The study surveyed 32 brands. Of this number, 16 improved their retention rates from 2009, 14 had lower rates and four had the same rates.

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