The loyalty rate for the Ford brand was the highest in the auto industry among new-vehicle buyers in the first quarter of 2014. According to IHS Automotive, among customers who bought a new Ford car or light truck in the past decade and came back to a showroom in the first quarter of 2014, around 64 percent either traded for another Ford unit or purchased another Ford brand vehicle.
Customers for Mercedes-Benz and Toyota were the next most loyal. Each brand had a 57.8-percent loyalty rate in the first quarter of 2014. The three brands were followed by Nissan, Chevrolet, Subaru, Honda, BMW, Lexus and Hyundai.
IHS remarked that overall brand loyalty dropped slightly to 51 percent in the first quarter of 2014. The study covered 1.8 million new-vehicle transactions wherein a household returned to the market and purchased a new vehicle in the first quarter of 2014.
Brands that improved their loyalty rates the most include Lincoln, Jeep, Mitsubishi, Fiat and Smart. They also managed to boost their market share in the United States in the period. The Jeep, Nissan and Subaru brands gained most in terms of customer loyalty and market share in the period, IHS said.
On the other hand, brands with the largest conquests in relation to defections were Mitsubishi, Jaguar, Lincoln, Jeep and Lexus, IHS said. Jeep saw its loyalty rate climb 8 percentage points, as it was able to retain loyalty of owners of the Liberty and improve fuel economy across the brand, according to Chrysler Group spokesman Todd Goyer.
Jeep has replaced the Liberty with the Cherokee. Tom Libby, IHS’s loyalty solutions consultant, said that the study assessed units sold to individual customers and covered 35 auto brands in the US.
Libby quipped that building brand loyalty is a low-cost way to post sales, compared to trying to conquest a competitive brand.