The upstart Korean automaker Hyundai has arguably done the best job of gaining ground at the expense of Japanese makers still struggling with shortages caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Indeed, it seems like a lot of things are going right for Hyundai which now has topped traditional leaders Toyota and Honda in terms of owner loyalty, according to a new study. The news lends credence to claims by the Korean maker that it will set another U.S. sales record this year.
According to online sales and data service KBB.com, 52.3% of Hyundai buyers researched another model by the Korean maker as they searched for a new vehicle during the second quarter of 2011. That compares to:
- Honda at 49.7%;
- Toyota at 47.7%;
- Ford at 45.4%; and in fifth place
- Subaru at 44.8%.
Some industry analysts might question the metrics used by KBB, as loyalty is more traditionally defined as someone owning a vehicle actually purchasing a model from the same brand again. But the research reflects general trends in Hyundai’s favor.