Both automakers and dealers reached out for customer satisfaction, says Polk analyst, all adopting practices to keep current customers and win over new ones.
Get the details on buyers most loyal to their brand in 2012.
…in 2012, we began to witness OEMs placing greater emphasis on customer loyalty and owner conquest strategies at both brand and dealership levels. OEMs are recognizing that in order to achieve the growth objectives set; they must focus on their existing owners. Adopting best practices in customer satisfaction and understanding the drivers of owner defection are at the forefront of every OEM business strategy.
Improvements in brand loyalty were dominated by the import brands. Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Acura and Nissan all achieved loyalty improvements with the launch of all new products (Altima, Accord, ILX, GS, ES, etc.) in late 2011 through the middle of 2012. Furthermore, the improvements from these brands were also slightly inflated when compared to 2011 due to lack of inventory during that time.
The majority of domestic brands displayed a decrease in owner loyalty when compared to 2011. Chrysler Group is having greater success in conquest of owners from competitive brands rather than in the retention of their existing customers (there is also high migration between inner manufacturer brands, e.g., Chrysler, Dodge). General Motors is seeing heavy losses of its brand owners to Hyundai, Volkswagen and Subaru.
Even though Ford saw its brand loyalty rate decrease by 1 percentage point vs. 2011; it still continues to be the industry leader at 61.3%. Mercedes-Benz leads the industry from the luxury brand standpoint with loyalty of 58.6%.