When faced with navigating low dealer inventories during the past year, the preponderance of consumers bought the same brand of vehicle when buying their next new vehicle, according to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study released Tuesday.
“The issue of tight supply chain and lower-than-normal production could have been quite disruptive to loyalty, but the highest-ranking brands excelled by staying focused on keeping owners in the brand,” said Tyson Jominy, vice president of data & analytics at J.D. Power.
“There are multiple paths to keeping owners loyal, but every winning brand showed a commitment to launching fresh products, excellent processes focused on the vehicle owner, high residual values and offering vehicles with great appeal. And, for the most part, they’re all winning with market share.”
The study, which is now in its fourth year, determines if an owner bought the same brand after trading in an old car for a new one determines customer loyalty. Only transactions at franchised new-car dealers are eligible. This year’s survey has been expanded to include premium car, premium SUV, mass market car mass market SUV, and truck categories, a change from last year’s analysis.
How the brand fared
Here are the brands with the highest loyalty by segment, according to J.D. Power.
Premium Car: Porsche 57.4%; Genesis, 54.6%
Premium SUV: BMW 58.6%; Lexus 56.4%
Mass Market Car: Toyota 62.2%, Kia 54.1%
Mass Market SUV: Toyota 63.6%, Subaru 62.6%
Truck: Ford 63.8%, Toyota 58.7%
Still, you might wonder why brand loyalty would matter to a consumer.
“It measures would I buy this again, would I recommend it to a friend?” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of Global Vehicle Forecasting for AutoForecast Solutions LLC.
But Powers’ Jominy thinks that brand loyalty could erode going forward. “Once the industry gets past the supply chain disruptions, another challenge — the EV race — is about to emerge and is likely shake up the brand loyalty status quo,” she said.
Fiorani isn’t as sure. But he does note that brand loyalty is far lower than it once was.
“Brand loyalty in the new millennium has disappeared,” he said. “It is far less important than it was back in the ’60s When your father bought an Oldsmobile and you bought an Oldsmobile.”