The latest survey by J.D. Power and Associates has revealed that Hyundai had the highest rate of customer retention last year among its competitors in the United States. The automaker beats industry leaders Honda and Ford, the research company revealed in its ninth-annual Customer Retention Study. Specifically, 64 percent of the new automobiles that Hyundai leased or sold last year were bought by existing owners.
In 2010, Hyundai retained 60 percent of buyers. Now, the automaker leaped two spots in the rankings. Also in 2010, Ford and Honda tied for the No. 1 spot with a customer retention rate of 62 percent. In 2011, they tied again, but in the second position with 60 percent retention rating, J.D. Power's study revealed.
Other automakers that made it to the top 10 spots were Kia, BMW, Chevrolet, Toyota, Lexus, Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz. Jeep, Mini, Ram and Nissan also finished above the 49 percent average retention rate of the industry last year.
J.D. Power stated that the high retention rate of Hyundai was generally due to the popular Sonata and Elantra models. Raffi Festekjian, director of automotive product research at J.D. Power and Associates, commented that the automaker's increased retention rate is "shaped by its expanding model lineup" and by the fact that perceptions of the brand's appeal and quality have "continued to improve" during the past ten years.