Ford Motor Company recently took top honors for the second year in a row during the 16th annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards. Ford was a repeat winner in several categories, including: Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer; Overall Loyalty to Make; African-American Market Loyalty to Make; and Mid/Full-Size Pickup for its F‑Series truck lineup, which has been honored in that category 14 out of the last 16 years.
FIRST TIME WINNER
Hyundai was recognized for the first time, with Elantra winning in the compact car segment. Another first time winner was the Ford Escape, which was recognized in the compact SUV category.
Jeep received the award for Most Improved Loyalty to Make for 2011, based largely on the success of the newly redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee. In addition, Chrysler Town & Country continued its reign in the minivan segment, winning its 11th consecutive Polk Automotive Loyalty Award. The Porsche 911 was honored in the luxury sports car category, and the Lincoln MKZ won the luxury car category with a relatively new model.
LOYALTY RATES CONTINUE TO INCREASE
Even though industry volumes have been down the past few years, loyalty rates have continued to increase.
Loyalty is determined when a household that owns a new vehicle returns to market and purchases or leases another new vehicle of the same model or make. Polk tracks owner loyalty throughout the year and regularly works with customers to effectively manage owner loyalty through in-depth analysis of automotive shopping behaviors, related market influencers and development of retention strategies. The 2011 awards are based on an analysis of 5.5 million return-to-market events during the 2011 model year. The model year ran from Oct. 1, 2010 through Sept. 30, 2011.
'“It's clear that keeping customers is an integral part of the business strategy at the OEM and dealer levels," said Smith "In addition, a renewed emphasis on ethnic marketing has improved loyalty to the brand and manufacturer" he continued.[Source: "16th Annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards." Polk's Loyalty Management Practice. 10 Jan. 2012. Web. 12 Jan. 2012.]