GM and Toyota take top honours
Auto industry data analyst R. L. Polk & Co. has just revealed its annual Automotive Loyalty Award winners.
Winning the Overall Manufacturer award for the seventh consecutive year, General Motors demonstrated an outstanding ability to retain its customers for the 2006 model year, which ended Sept. 30. GM also secured five additional awards including honours for its Chevrolet Impala, Corvette and Tahoe, and the Saturn Ion and Vue.
“GM customer loyalty increased at least 3 percentage points in each winning category,” said CEO Stephen R. Polk.
Toyota was also a big winner, scoring more than three percentage points higher than last year in customer loyalty and taking honours in the Overall Make category for posting the highest make loyalty to an automotive division.
It was also recognized with two segment loyalty awards. The Prius won the Mid-size Car segment, becoming the first hybrid vehicle to be honoured.
Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota, was a repeat winner in the Mid-size SUV segment for its Lexus RX.
“While hybrids continue to make up just a small percentage of the overall market, hybrid owners have been known to be very enthusiastic about their vehicles,” said Polk. “We expect this trend to continue as an increased number of manufacturers are working on adding more fuel-efficient vehicles to their offerings.”
Overall for the industry, make loyalty for the 2006 model year was 44.4 per cent. Recent studies by Polk show consumers are consistently more loyal to Asian brands (47.6 per cent), versus European (37.3 per cent) and domestic makes (43.5 per cent).
Ford Motor Company was also a multi-award winner this year and accepted honours for its Ford F-Series, Mustang and Lincoln Town Car. Other brands capturing loyalty honours were Chrysler, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz.
Loyalty Award Winners (vehicle segment)— 2006 model year