Among 33 automotive brands included in our 2012 Customer Retention Study, Hyundai ranks highest among all brands in retaining customers when they buy a new vehicle. The Korean brand improves its retention rate by 4 percentage points from 2010 to 64% in 2012.
Hyundai’s retention rate is primarily driven by loyalty to the Elantra and Sonata models. The non-premium brand’s increased retention rate also is shaped by its expanding model lineup, as well as the fact that perceptions of the brand’s quality and appeal have continued to improve during the past decade.
Following Hyundai in this year’s rankings are two more non-premium brands: Ford and Honda (in a tie), each with a customer retention rate of 60%. Rounding out the highest-ranking five brands in terms of retention—also in a tie—are luxury brand BMW and Hyundai’s sibling, Kia, each with a retention rate of 59%.
In addition, retention rates for nine more brands are at or above the industry average (49%). These brands, which include six mass market bands and three premium nameplates, are, in rank order, respectively: Toyota, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Cadillac, Jeep, Nissan, Mini and Ram.
It’s also notable that Jeep posts the greatest improvement in its customer retention rate from 2010, advancing by 17 percentage points to 51% 2012. In 2012, over half of the brands improved their customer retention rates from 2010. —Raffi Festekjian, director of automotive product research at J.D. Power and Associates
Note: J.D. Power and Associates last conducted its Customer Retention Study in December 2010. Comparisons between the 2010 and 2012 studies span a 1-year period, rather than a 2-year period. The study was not published in 2011.