Subaru ranks highest among mass-market brands -- and highest overall -- in brand loyalty, according to a study.
The automaker has a loyalty rate of 61.5%, according to the inaugural J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study. Rounding out the top 20 in the mass market are Toyota, Honda, Ram, Ford, Kia, Chevrolet, Nissan, Hyundai, Jeep, Volkswagen, Mazda, GMC, Mitsubishi, Mini, Buick, Dodge, Fiat, Chrysler and Smart.
Lexus ranks highest among luxury brands with a 47.6% loyalty rate, followed by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Land Rover, Maserait, Acura, Lincoln, Cadillac, Volvo, Infiniti and Jaguar.
Brand loyalty is a key objective of automakers not only because it leads to a customer repurchasing or leasing another vehicle from the same manufacturer but because that customer is more likely to recommend the brand to friends and family members shopping for a new vehicle, says Tyson Jominy, vice president of data and analytics at J.D. Power.
“Customer loyalty is perhaps the most important metric for manufacturers because it incorporates many factors that lead customers to become brand ambassadors,” Jominy states. “When a brand can connect emotionally with owners through the vehicle’s content, capabilities or prestige level, owners are much more likely to come back and purchase that same brand again.”
The study calculates whether an owner purchased the same brand after trading in an existing vehicle on a new vehicle purchase or lease. Customer loyalty is based on the percentage of vehicle owners who choose the same brand when trading in or purchasing their next vehicle. The 2019 U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study calculations are based on transaction data from June 2018 through May 2019 and include all model years traded in.