Study: Toyota Regains Top Spot in Customer Loyalty, General Motors, Ford Close Behind

By Trevor Dorchies | October 12, 2012
According to a recent study conducted by Experian Automotive, Toyota has regained the top spot among all automakers in customer loyalty. This is the first time since the third quarter of 2009 that the Japanese automaker could lay claim to this. The study revealed that Toyota retained 47.3 percent of its customers over the course of the second quarter, bumping Ford out of the top spot. However, the Blue Oval didn't fall very far. After Toyota, General Motors checked in with a 46.2 percent customer retention rate while Ford kept 46 percent of its customers. Ford was still able to keep the title of the No. 1 overall brand with a 44.7 percent loyalty rate but Toyota was close behind with 44.6 percent. Hyundai-Kia kept 45.3 percent during the second quarter of this year while Honda rounds out the top five with 43.1 percent of customers kept. The survey results were based upon the number of customers that stick with the same automaker after a lease expires or a vehicle is traded in. Vehicle registration data was used to keep track of all of these transactions to get an accurate number for each automaker. "Toyota has done an outstanding job of regaining customer trust and getting repeat customers into showrooms," Jeffrey Anderson, director of consulting analytics said to Automotive News. "To restore normal operations and regain customer trust in such a short time following the earthquake and tsunami is a truly remarkable comeback."
Toyota's customer loyalty results come on the tail of the automaker's latest massive recall with 2.5 million units-including the Lexus luxury brand- over concerns of a faulty window switch that could catch fire. The natural disaster that struck Japan last year also knocked Toyota production down and as a result, hurt the automaker's overall sales numbers. Before that in 2010, Toyota and Lexus had to recall almost 5 million vehicles over concerns that carpet mats would get caught underneath the accelerator pedal making the car unintentionally accelerate. Do you have less of an opinion of Toyota and Lexus vehicles because of the recent recalls? Does it not matter to you? Tell us what you think in the comment section below. Source: Automotive News (subscription required)