Brand Loyalty

Brand Loyalty

2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

by Lori Straus

An important factor in deciding what car you want to buy is what other people think about that car. You’ll likely research reviews, both by professionals and by car owners. A statistic related to review research is brand loyalty: how many people buy from the same brand again? In this blog post, we’ll cover statistics on automotive brand loyalty from J.D. Power and Kelley Blue Book.

J.D. Power’s Car Brand Loyalty Rankings

J.D. Power uses data from its proprietary Power Information Network to analyze car brand loyalty. According to the company’s website, PIN is the “largest source for retail transaction data” and “has the broadest and deepest electronic point-of-sale data from dealerships describing the sale, the vehicle, the buyer and the deal.”

Using this data, J.D. Powers can track if a customer has purchased the same brand of vehicle after trading in their old car. For the 2020 results, the company used transaction data from June 2019 to May 2020 and included all model years traded in. These were the top five brands in J.D. Power’s automotive brand loyalty study. The percentages in brackets show how many customers traded in their old car and bought a new one from the same brand.

Luxury Brands:

2016 Lexus RX
Lexus RX
  1. Lexus (48%)
  2. Mercedes-Benz (47.8%)
  3. BMW (45.1%)
  4. Porsche (44.9%)
  5. Audi (43.4%)

Mass Market Brands:

Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback
  1. Subaru (60.5%)
  2. Toyota (60.3%)
  3. Honda (58.7%)
  4. RAM (57.3%)
  5. Ford (54.3%)

The year 2020 was only the second year the analytic firm conducted the study. The data for their first one, in 2019, comes from the same source and data range (June 2018 to May 2019). These are the top five, with customer loyalty percentages in brackets:

Luxury Brands:

  1. Lexus (47.6%)
  2. Mercedes-Benz (44.2%)
  3. BMW (43.6%)
  4. Porsche (43.5%)
  5. Audi (43.3%)

Mass Market Brands:

  1. Subaru (61.5%)
  2. Toyota (58.5%)
  3. Honda (57.7%)
  4. RAM (56.2%)
  5. Ford (54.0%)

Aside from minor changes in percentages, the top brands’ standings haven’t changed.

Kelley Blue Book’s Brand Loyalty Rankings

Kelley Blue Book, the industry-leading source on vehicle valuation and automotive research, published its Brand Image Awards for the twelfth year in 2019, the most recent statistics available. Within the Brand Image Awards are the categories Most Trusted Brand, for mass market cars, and Most Trusted Luxury Brand.

Kelley Blue Book receives their data from over 12,000 in-market new-vehicle shoppers who use the company’s website for research. For award years 2016-2019, Lexus was awarded Most Trusted Luxury Brand. In 2015, Mercedes-Benz won the award. Subaru won the title for Most Trusted Brand five years in a row from 2015-2019.

Researching Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty doesn’t only suggest brand reliability, but it also indicates if customers are happy with the overall service they’ve received from that brand while they owned a car manufactured by it. As you research your next car, whether it’s a used car or a new car, include brand loyalty as one of your criteria.

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