And Toyota’s onslaught continues 

And Toyota’s onslaught continues

In the news: Toyota tops in buyer loyalty, beating Ford

Ending a nine-year run, Toyota ousted Ford as the car brand with the most loyal customers in R.L. Polk and Co.’s annual survey of new vehicle purchases. GM scored highest in manufacturer loyalty.

Almost 55 percent of Toyota owners who bought a new car during the 2005 model year purchased another Toyota. According to Polk's data, the average owner loyalty for all brands is about 44 percent. Ford had a slightly lower buyer retention rate last year at 53.4 percent. On the other hand, GM had the highest customer loyalty for an overall manufacturer with over 63 percent of GM owners who traded in or sold a car last year purchased another GM vehicle. This success though, can be attributed to the sheer size of the company's product line and the number of brands it encompasses.

Polk defines loyalty in terms of new car customer retention: a new car buyer returning to buy another new vehicle of the same make or model.

According to Lonnie Miller, director of industry analysis for Polk, owner loyalty is affected by a range of factors, including dealership experience, a broad product selection and vehicle quality - and was not just the type of customer or the type of car he or she wants.

Quality and reliability are probably major reasons that Toyota owners stick with the brand, said Miller. "They don't have to worry about the biggest aspect of what's under their butt when they're driving," he said. True. I own a Toyota car myself, and so far, I’ve never had any major problems to speak of. I’m also thinking of getting a new car, and it will probably be another Toyota (the new Camry looks good to me).

Here are the survey results for the vehicles with the most loyal owners:

Small car: Saturn Ion, 24.6 percent

Midsize car: Toyota Camry, 27.1 percent

Large car: Mercury Grand Marquis, 36.1 percent

Luxury car: Lincoln Town Car, 37.2 pct

Prestige luxury car: Lexus LS 430, 32.0 percent

Sports car: Ford Mustang, 17 percent

Prestige sports car: Mercedes-Benz SLK-class, 24.5 percent

Minivan: Chrysler Town & Country, 26.9 percent

Compact pick-up: Toyota Tacoma, 19.5 percent

Full-sized pick-up: Ford F-series, 39 percent

Compact SUV: Subaru Forester, 27.1 percent

Midsized SUV: Lexus RX 300/330/400h, 31.0 percent

Full-size SUV: Chevrolet Suburban, 21.1 percent

Prestige SUV: Land Rover Ranger Rover, 32.9 percent

Asian manufacturers scored their best result since the survey began 10 years ago, leading five market segments.

Meanwhile, you can also make your car, truck, or SUV loyal to you by giving it proper care and maintenance. Should you need a new starter for your Ford car, or replacement headlights for your Honda car, just click over to Auto Parts Corner for the very best in auto parts.

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Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:15 pm MST by

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