General Motors is once again the top automaker when it comes to loyalty, according to IHS Markit.
Now in its 22nd year, the IHS Markit Loyalty Awards honor winners in more than 30 categories including GM for the top award, Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer, with a loyalty rate of 69.1%, and Ford brand for Overall Loyalty to Make with a loyalty rate of 63.4%.
Automotive manufacturers and brands were recognized in a ceremony Tuesday evening for superior customer retention and conquest efforts during the 2017 model year (October 2016 through September 2017).
IHS Markit analysis found that with approximately 17.5 million new vehicle registrations during the 2017 model year, 53.6% of customers returned to market to purchase or lease another new vehicle from the same make they already owned. This represents record loyalty rate and an increase of 0.8 percentage points from last year.
New to the analysis this year is the assessment of the impact a garage mate of the same brand has on defection. A garage containing two vehicles of the same brand will return to repurchase from that brand 63% of the time. When the garage mate is a competitive brand, then the rate of return drops 20 percentage points to 43% brand loyal. These data can be used to identify customers who may look loyal to a given brand, but are actually at higher risk for defection.
As a result of this additional analysis, Lincoln was found to be the brand with Highest Loyalty to Dealer, meaning, 48.5% of all Lincoln owners returned to a Lincoln dealer for another Lincoln in the 2017 model year.
Ford achieved the highest loyalty rate of all makes during the 2017 model year, winning the Overall Loyalty to Make award. The award for Highest Conquest percentage for the 2017 model year went to Jeep.
Toyota was honored for highest Ethnic Loyalty to Make among all ethnic groups combined, as it led in loyalty among all three ethnic groups — African American, Hispanic and Asian.
Buick was named for Most Improved Loyalty to Make for the model year and Jaguar was recognized for Most Improved Conquest percentage during the 2017 model year.