By Jennifer Geiger on January 16, 2012
Hyundai is on a roll. After reporting strong sales in 2011 and winning the North American Car of the Year Award for its Elantra sedan, the Korean automaker got more good news from J.D. Power and Associates. In the results of J.D. Power's Customer Retention Study, Hyundai came out on top in terms of brand loyalty.
The study, which J.D. Power skipped in 2011, charts customer-loyalty rates by vehicle brand, looking at who remains loyal and to which automaker. For 2012, the industry brand loyalty average is 49%, with Hyundai riding the top of the list at 64%, according to the study.
Hyundai's success is likely driven by the brand's recent overhaul of several of its vehicles, its value pricing strategy and its Assurance buyback program.
Tied for second on the list are Ford and Honda, each with a 60% customer retention rate. Winning the most-improved title is the Jeep brand; its retention rate jumped from 34% in 2010 to 51% in 2012.
The study, which also looks at age- and gender-related buying trends, found that women and younger consumers are the hardest to retain within a brand. Those that rank high in retaining women include Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz also ranks high in attracting and keeping younger buyers, as does Ford, Kia and Lexus.
Rounding out the bottom of the list were Suzuki at 20% and Saab at 7%.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer