For the fourth quarter of 2011, Toyotas brand shopping loyalty was at 50.6 percent, a 2.7 percentage point jump from the third quarter of 2011. Hyundai was close behind at 50.2 percent. Ford , which moved to the third position from the fifth for 2011, is at 47.1 percent loyalty. Kia continues to hold the fourth spot from the previous quarter at 46.5 percent, while Honda takes the fifth position at 46.4 percent.
Hyundai was No. 1 in loyalty for the past two quarters thanks to its strong redesigns, attractive value and the struggles of the Japanese brands with safety perception and supply issues, said Akshay Anand, a Web analyst for kbb.com . However, Toyota has done a laudable job overcoming these issues, introducing programs such as Toyota Care, while getting its supply back online. The redesign of its flagship, the 2012 Toyota Camry , also helped drive interest to the brand and retain owners.
There are positive trends for automakers, says Anand. Traditional leaders like Toyota are leaving the problems in the past and looking toward bright futures, while new players such as Hyundai, Kia and Audi remain forces to be reckoned with in the American automotive industry.
Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence examines brand loyalty while consumers are still in the shopping phase. KBB defines loyalty as owners of the brand who are currently shopping the same brand for their next vehicle.