IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com reported that Toyota claimed the No. 1 spot for brand loyalty on the site in the year-end quarter of 2011, a position it last held in the third quarter of 2010.
For the fourth quarter, Toyota's brand shopping loyalty was at 50.6 percent, a 2.7 percentage point jump from the previous quarter. Hyundai followed close behind at 50.2 percent. Ford, which moved to the third position from No. 5 for in the year-end quarter, was at 47.1 percent brand loyalty. Kia continued to hold the No. 4 spot from the previous quarter at 46.5 percent, while Honda took No. 5 at 46.4 percent.
"Hyundai was No. 1 in loyalty for the past two quarters thanks to its strong redesigns, attractive value and the struggles of the Japanese brands with safety perception and supply issues," said Akshay Anand, web analyst for KBB.com. “However, Toyota has done a laudable job overcoming these issues, introducing programs such as ‘Toyota Care,’ while getting its supply back online. The redesign of its flagship, the 2012 Toyota Camry, also helped drive interest to the brand and retain owners."
After a brief dip, Honda jumped back into the Top 5 while Subaru fell to No. 6 in the year-end quarter from No. 3 in the third quarter, according to the website. Kbb.com attributes Honda's reappearance among the Top 5 to the Civic refresh, the CR-V redesign and resolved supply problems.
Lexus is represented as the top luxury brand on the brand loyalty list at No. 8, with Audi at No. 9. Mercedes-Benz followed at No. 11.
“All in all, there are positive trends for automakers," Anand said. "Traditional leaders like Toyota are leaving the problems in the past and looking toward bright futures, while new players such as Hyundai, Kia and Audi remain forces to be reckoned with in the American automotive industry."
For more information, visit www.kbb.com.