Brand loyalty increasing among US car buyers

Subaru, Lexus lead brands in the latest J.D. Power automotive loyalty study

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Americans are becoming more inclined with vehicle brand loyalty that it will be challenging for rival brands to convince buyers to make a switch.

The recently released 2020 U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study, now in its second year, showed that vehicle owners loyal to a specific brand will most likely choose the same car brand when the time for purchasing or trading in a new car comes.

Among the car brands, Subaru ranked highest among mass-market brands in terms of automotive brand loyalty with a 60.5% rating.

Subaru had the highest overall rating in the automotive industry loyalty study. Source: J.D. Power

The Japanese car brand Subaru also had the highest overall rating in the automotive industry despite placing at the bottom tier of last year’s J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.

Not far behind among mass-market brands is Toyota which ranked second (60.3%), followed by Honda (58.7%), RAM (57.3%), and Ford (54.3%).

For luxury brands, Lexus gained the highest rating with an automotive brand loyalty rate of 48% also for the second consecutive year.

Lexus gained the highest rating for luxury brands for the second consecutive year. Source: J.D. Power

German car brands like Mercedes-Benz ranked second in loyalty rating (47.8%), followed by BMW (45.1%), Porsche (44.9%), and Audi (43.4%) for the luxury vehicle brands.

Using data from the Power Information Network, the automotive brand loyalty study analyzed whether an owner purchased the same brand after trading in an existing vehicle on a new vehicle.

Customer loyalty rating, according to the study, was based on the percentage of vehicle owners who choose the same brand when trading in or purchasing their next vehicle.

The calculations were based on transaction data from June 2019 to May 2020 and include all car model years traded-in.

Tyson Jominy, vice president of data & analytics at J.D. Power, said multiple factors contribute to brand loyalty among them customer purchasing experience and the actual feel of driving the vehicle.

“Automakers are really focused on customer retention, as evidenced by the payment plans and incentives they’ve offered since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Many have gone above and beyond to offer customers financial assistance during a period of economic uncertainty, which does a lot to bolster consumer confidence in their chosen brand and repurchase it in the future,” Jominy said.

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JM Agreda is a freelance journalist for more than 12 years writing for numerous international publications, research journals, and news websites. He mainly covers business, tech, transportation, and political news for Businessner.