Edmunds.com Tracks Car Buyer Loyalty: Toyota Still Leads, but Loses Ground

Edmunds.com Tracks Car Buyer Loyalty: Toyota Still Leads, but Loses Ground


Edmunds.com Tracks Car Buyer Loyalty: Toyota Still Leads, but Loses Ground

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — May 4, 2010 — Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, reports that Toyota loyalty faded slightly in the first quarter of 2010, but still remains the strongest in the auto industry.

During the first quarter, nearly 58 percent of Toyota trade-ins resulted in the purchase of a new Toyota vehicle, down four percent from the first quarter of last year. At the other end of the spectrum, Mercury owners had the lowest loyalty among all major brands, with only 14 percent of Mercury trade-ins resulting in the purchase of another Mercury vehicle. Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, Honda, Subaru, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz are the only brands that had a loyalty rate of 50 percent or higher, according to Edmunds.com's study. (Edmunds.com only included brands that sell more than 10,000 vehicles per quarter.)

Year over year, Mercedes-Benz gained the most ground in retaining customers, followed by BMW and Nissan.

Here are some other trade-in trends:

  • Among domestic brands, Ford had the highest owner loyalty and second highest industrywide. Nearly 56 percent of Ford trade-ins resulted in the purchase of a new Ford, up nearly 10 percent from the first quarter of 2009. Chevrolet was second at 45 percent and Dodge came in third at 38 percent.
  • Among the imports, Hyundai came in second after Toyota. Nearly 56 percent of Hyundai trade-ins resulted in the purchase of another Hyundai, while Honda was next at 51 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, just over 14 percent of Infinitis were traded in for new Infinitis.
  • Among luxury brands, Mercedes-Benz had the highest owner loyalty: 50 percent of Mercedes-Benz trade-ins resulted in the purchase of a new Mercedes-Benz. Lexus was second at 46 percent followed by Acura at 34 percent. Infiniti had the lowest loyalty among luxury brands; just over 14 percent of Infinitis were traded in for new Infinitis.
  Trade-In Loyalty
Make Q1 2010 Q1 2009 Q1 2010 vs. Q1  2009
Toyota 57.6% 60.1% -4.2%
Ford 56.1% 51.2% 9.5%
Hyundai 55.8% 63.8% -12.5%
Honda 55.2% 51.7% 6.8%
Subaru 51.8% 48.4% 7.1%
Nissan 50.7% 41.0% 23.7%
Mercedes-Benz 50.0% 38.0% 31.3%
Kia 46.6% 53.9% -13.4%
Lexus 46.1% 38.1% 21.1%
Chevrolet 45.3% 49.6% -8.6%
Dodge 37.6% 43.8% -14.2%
GMC 36.0% 37.1% -2.9%
Acura 35.4% 36.5% -3.1%
Jeep 32.6% 38.7% -15.9%
Volkswagen 32.4% 40.2% -19.5%
BMW 32.3% 24.6% 31.4%
Audi 30.1% 40.5% -25.7%
Cadillac 29.9% 37.3% -19.8%
Volvo 27.2% 31.3% -13.1%
Buick 25.7% 29.9% -14.0%
Lincoln 24.9% 27.3% -9.0%
Mazda 22.7% 27.0% -15.8%
Mitsubishi 20.7% 22.7% -8.9%
Chrysler 17.3% 27.7% -37.5%
Infiniti 14.1% 17.7% -20.5%
Mercury 14.0% 21.0% -33.2%

"Some automakers offer owner loyalty programs that are rather compelling, such as Toyota's recent offer of two years' worth of free maintenance for current owners who buy new Toyotas," commented Michelle Krebs, Senior Analyst for Edmunds.com. "However, today automakers like Ford, Honda and Chevy are generating loyalty by delivering on or above customer expectations — without having to pay for special marketing programs."

About Edmunds Inc. (http://www.edmunds.com/about/)
Edmunds Inc. publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value®, is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.

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