SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — A recent analysis by IHS Automotive found that loyalty among SUV/CUV owners in the United States has soared to record levels.

The analysis, which looked at more than 1.9 million return to market events during the first quarter, found that 63% of SUV/CUV owners who returned to market for a new vehicle during the first quarter of 2016 purchased another SUV or CUV.

“We continue to see the SUV/CUV segment reaching record registration volumes in the U.S. market,” said Tom Libby, manager, loyalty and industry analysis with IHS Automotive. "New designs and OEM marketing initiatives focused on capturing repeat buyers are helping this segment continue its substantial growth."

Out of all segments, luxury full-size SUV owners were the most likely to purchase another vehicle within the SUV/CUV body style.

The demand for SUVs and CUVs has grown significantly in the last few years, the analysis found. In 2011, SUVs and CUVs comprised 35.2% of personal new-vehicle registrations, according to IHS Automotive. In the most recent first quarter, the combined body style now holds 41.8% of the market.

While SUV/CUV registrations have gone up, car registrations have gone down. In the first quarter of 2011, cars accounted for 48.7% of new-vehicle registrations. In the first quarter, that percentage dropped to 40.9%.

“The high loyalty rates for SUVs and CUVs lend credence to the current shift from passenger cars to utility vehicles,” said Christopher Hopson, manager, North America light vehicle sales forecast at IHS Automotive. “We expect this shift to be sustained, even when fuel prices are expected to rise back above USD $3.00/gallon by 2020.”

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