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Porsche, Cadillac Lead Q1 Brand Loyalty Improvement, Polk Reports

June 06, 2013

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — A first-quarter analysis of repeat buying behavior conducted by Polk revealed that average new-vehicle brand loyalty rates increased to 51.5 percent, up more than 2 percentage points over the same time period last year.

Thirteen brands experienced a larger jump in owner loyalty than the industry average compared to the first quarter 2012, with Porsche, Cadillac and Mazda representing the three largest quarter-to-quarter improvements, according to Polk. 

Among brands with at least 1,000 former new-vehicle buyers returning to the market in the first quarter, Porsche owner loyalty improved 9.5 percentage points. Cadillac continued its owner loyalty improvement over 2012 with an uptick of 8.3 percentage points over the same period last year, while Mazda was the third most improved brand for the quarter, with owner loyalty increasing 7.8 percentage points during the first quarter of 2013. 

“In each case, strong-selling models fuel the loyalty to these brands. We saw a majority of the contribution for brand loyalty coming from Cayenne owners for Porsche, CTS owners for Cadillac and Mazda3 owners for Mazda,” noted Lonnie Miller, vice president of Polk’s Loyalty Management practice. “There’s something to be said for paying positive attention to the majority of your customer base while treating buyers professionally and continuing to meet or exceed their vehicle needs.”

Brand Loyalty   Improvements

Brand

Q1 2012
  Brand Loyalty (%)

Q1 2013
  Brand Loyalty (%)

Percentage Point
  Change

Porsche

32.6

42.1

9.5

Cadillac

39.1

47.4

8.3

Mazda

29.2

37.0

7.8

BMW

48.6

55.6

7.0

Lexus

45.9

52.3

6.4

GMC

35.3

41.0

5.7

Buick

34.7

40.0

5.3

Land Rover

40.2

44.5

4.3

Audi

43.9

47.5

3.6

Toyota

55.1

58.5

3.4

Ford

61.8

65.1

3.3

Chevrolet

53.1

56.2

3.1

Mercedes-Benz

52.9

55.9

3.0

Industry

48.9

51.5

2.6

 

Overall, Ford continues to lead the industry, with a brand loyalty rate of 65.1 percent among new-vehicle owners who returned to the market during the first quarter 2013, proving that its impressive lineup is making a significant impact among automotive shoppers who are returning to market, Polk analysts said. Toyota brand loyalty was more than 6 percentage points behind Ford for the timeframe, with a 58.5 percent loyalty rate. Honda (57 percent), Chevrolet (56.2 percent), Mercedes and Nissan (each at 55.9 percent) rounded out the top six brands for the quarter’s loyalty analysis.

On a monthly cycle, Polk’s loyalty analysis is based on actual new-vehicle registration information gleaned from all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.  The first quarter 2013 analysis evaluated brands against their performance during the first quarter 2012. Loyalty rates among the Top 10 brands with at least 1,000 new vehicle-owning customers returning to the showroom during the quarter ranged from 52.2 percent to 65.1 percent.

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