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Resale value and vehicle quality have become increasingly important reasons for new-vehicle buyers to remain loyal to an automotive brand, according to the J.D. Power and Associates.
In its latest Customer Retention Study just made public, resale value as a reason for loyalty has increased by 12 percentage points in 2009, compared with 2008.
The importance of vehicle quality has increased by 6 percentage points. In comparison, in 2008, the reasons with the largest increases in importance for staying loyal to a brand were safety, fuel economy and deals/incentives.
The study measures the percentage of vehicle owners and lessees who replace a previously purchased new vehicle with another from the same brand.
If you just look at the industry average of less than 50%, it means that the average car brand has to find more than half of its sales from new people, an enormously expensive marketing challenge.
“Although there are some signs of economic recovery, the outlook remains uncertain, so for many new-vehicle buyers, high resale value and quality are particularly important considerations that are driving purchase behavior,” said Raffi Festekjian, director of automotive product research at J.D. Power and Associates.
Mercedes-Benz ranks highest among automotive brands in retaining vehicle owners when they buy a new-vehicle, and improves its retention rate by 8 percentage points from 2008 to 67% in 2009. Following in the rankings are Honda (64%) and Toyota (61%).