More car buyers are loyal to Ford products than cars or trucks from any other manufacturer. That’s good news for the venerable Detroit company, which has been in fifth gear lately with profits, awards and new product news.
Ford took top honors in the 15th annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards, presented recently in Detroit. And Ford won in nearly every category — overall loyalty to manufacturer, loyalty a brand, loyalty by African-American customers, and perennial loyalty to Ford F-Series pick-up trucks. All of this is good news to Ford, whose share of the market has been increasing lately with such hits as the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid luxury sedan and the Ford Fiesta subcompact. Nearly 62% of Ford owners reported they would buy another Ford or Lincoln. Not a Mercury, though — Ford is retiring that brand.
Kia won Polk’s most improved loyalty category just days after the company announced an all-time sales record for 2010 models. Kia models include the Sorento SUV, which is built in the company’s new factory in West Point, Georgia, the Sportage compact crossover, Optima mid-size sedan, Forte sedan and hatchback, Sedona minivan, and the Kia Soul, which kind of defies description, other than a very cool car. Part of Kia customer loyalty, for sure, is due to their low prices and high fuel economy.
Toyota topped the loyalty list for Asians and Hispanics, and its Lexus brand won for full-size SUV.
Surprise — while Subaru, Land Rover and Jaguar were on the loyalty list, the only German brand to make the cut was Mercedes-Benz, in the luxury car class, for its popular E-Class sedan. The Subaru Forester was a repeat winner for compact SUV, Land Rover Range Rover won again for luxury SUV, and the drop dead gorgeous Jaguar XK won for luxury sports car. The Dodge Challenger was tops in the non-luxury sports car category, and the Chrysler Town & Country won again for having the most loyal minivan buyers. There were no General Motors models on the list this year.
Loyalty is determined when a household that owns a new vehicle returns to buy or lease another new vehicle of the same model or make, or from the same manufacturer. Polk analyzes nearly five million car buyers for these awards.