SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Experian Automotive today announced the Ford Fusion and the Ford Flex took the top two spots for brand loyalty at the model level in the third quarter 2012, surpassing second quarter 2012 model loyalty leader, the Chevrolet Sonic.

According to its third quarter 2012 Loyalty and Market Trends report, Experian Automotive found 56.4 percent of Ford Fusion owners returning to the market purchased or leased another Ford vehicle. The Ford Flex and the Chevrolet Sonic finished with 55.3 percent and 54.3 percent brand loyalty, respectively.

“Ford continues to perform exceptionally well in brand loyalty, with a range of products that are getting customers back to the showroom again and again,” said Jeffrey Anderson, director of consulting and analytics for Experian Automotive. “Loyal customers provide a ready-made source of sales and constitute an important element of maintaining or expanding market share and profitability.”

Overall, Ford had seven models in the Top 10 for brand loyalty. Other Ford models in the Top 10 included the Ford Edge, Ford 500, Ford Fiesta, Ford Escape and Ford Focus. Other Top 10 finishers include the Chevrolet Sonic, Kia Forte and Cadillac DTS.

When looking at the overall brand level (or when the owner of a certain brand returned to market to buy the same brand of car regardless of the model), the analysis found that Ford and Toyota maintained the top two spots, while Kia and Hyundai moved into the third and fourth positions, surpassing Honda.