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Polk Honors Automakers for Loyalty, GM Captures Overall Manufacturer Award

January 17, 2007

Southfield, Mich. — At the 11th Annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards presented at the 2007 Automotive News World Congress, R. L. Polk & Co awarded General Motors with the Overall Manufacturer award, reported Auto Remarketing News. This is the seventh consecutive year GM has won the award. Executives said the automaker demonstrated an outstanding ability to retain its customers for the 2006 model year, which ended Sept. 30.

GM also secured five additional awards including honors for its Chevrolet Impala, Corvette and Tahoe, and the Saturn ION and VUE, according to company executives.

"GM customer loyalty increased at least 3 percentage points in each winning category," explained Stephen Polk, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Polk. "We congratulate GM and wish the company continued success in its customer loyalty efforts as it launches several new products this year."

Toyota was also a big winner this year, scoring more than 3 percentage points higher than last year in customer loyalty and taking honors in the Overall Make category for posting the highest make loyalty for an auto division.

The company said Toyota was also honored with two segment loyalty awards. The Toyota Prius won the Midsize Car segment, becoming the first hybrid vehicle to be honored, while Lexus was a repeat winner in the Midsize SUV segment for its Lexus RX.

"While hybrids continue to make up just a small percentage of the overall market, hybrid owners have been known to be very enthusiastic about their vehicles," said Polk. "We expect this trend to continue as an increased number of manufacturers are working on adding more fuel-efficient vehicles to their offerings."

Overall for the industry, make loyalty for the 2006 model-year came in at 44.4 percent. Recent studies by Polk show consumers are consistently more loyal to Asian brands (47.6 percent), versus European (37.3 percent) and domestic makes (43.5 percent).

Ford was also a multi-award winner this year and accepted honors for its Ford F-Series, Mustang and Lincoln Town Car. Other brands capturing loyalty honors were Chrysler, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz.

Polk's Manufacturer Loyalty Excelerator Report, which is the basis for the Polk Automotive Loyalty rankings and annual awards, features the company's latest data into consumer loyalty. This report was introduced to the auto industry in 1995 and executives said it is now used to provide loyalty percentages for the entire industry.

The report measures loyalty throughout the entire model year so that manufacturers may keep abreast of loyalty trends as they occur in the industry, officials explained.

Polk's Loyalty winners include:

Category, Winner, Loyalty, Average Loyalty for Category

Overall Awards:

Manufacturer Loyalty: General Motors, 61.4%, 53.2%

Make Loyalty: Toyota, 57.7%, 44.4%

Vehicle Segment Awards:

Small Car: Saturn ION, 27.8%, 14.6%

Midsize Car: Toyota Prius, 35.0%, 17.0%

Large Car: Chevrolet Impala, 32.4%, 20.9%

Luxury Car: Lincoln Town Car, 34.9%, 18.1%

Prestige Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz S-Class, 31.4%, 24.5%

Sports Car: Ford Mustang, 19.9%, 11.7%

Prestige Sports Car: Chevrolet Corvette, 27.0%, 19.8%

Minivan: Chrysler Town & Country, 27.4%, 15.2%

Compact Pickup Truck: Toyota Tacoma, 18.7%, 12.2%

Full-Size Pickup Truck: Ford F-Series, 36.8%, 32.0%

Compact SUV: Saturn VUE, 29.6%, 16.7%

Midsize SUV: Lexus RX 300/330/400h, 31.1%, 17.2%

Full-Size SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe, 22.3%, 16.6%

Prestige SUV: Land Rover Range Rover, 35.5%, 19.5%

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