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General Motors Honored As Top Manufacturer In Automotive Loyalty Awards Presented By IHS Markit

The 23rd annual Automotive Loyalty Awards recognize auto manufacturers and brands for leadership in loyalty.



General Motors Corp. retained its position as the leader in automotive manufacturer loyalty during last night’s presentation of the IHS Markit Loyalty Awards, presented during the Automotive News World Congress. The awards, now in their 23rd year, are presented annually by business information provider IHS Markit.

IHS Markit honored winners in more than 30 categories, including General Motors for the evening’s top award, Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer, with a loyalty rate of 68.3 percent, and Ford brand for Overall Loyalty to Make, with a loyalty rate of 63 percent. Automotive News World Congress is held alongside press and industry days for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.


Automotive manufacturers and brands were recognized for superior customer retention and conquest efforts during the 2018 model year (October 2017 through September 2018). IHS Markit analysis found that, in 2018, with approximately 17.6 million new vehicle registrations during the model year, 53.7 percent of customers returned to market to purchase or lease another new vehicle from the same make they already owned.

While this represents a record make loyalty rate, the increase was just one tenth of a percentage point from last year, demonstrating a flattening of loyalty rates in the industry after years of increases. However, the competition is stronger than ever at the top. In 2014, there was only one brand with a loyalty rate above 60 percent, and five percentage points separated the top three brands. During the 2018 model year, only three percentage points separated the top three brands, and now there are two brands with a loyalty rate above 60 percent, with the third only two-tenths of a point away.


“Our Automotive Loyalty Awards program continues to showcase the achievements of the automakers, brands and their dealer networks to win back and conquest customers during such a competitive sales environment,” said Steve Had, vice president of automotive product solutions at IHS Markit. “We are honored to recognize these industry leaders that are working to improve their loyalty efforts year over year.”

IHS Markit reviewed various additional influencers impacting loyalty metrics in this year’s analysis. As one example, make loyalty rates among those who financed through captive lenders were 57.8 percent during the 2018 model year, more than eight percentage points higher than loyalty rates of those who financed with non-captive lenders (49.4 percent loyalty). In addition, service experience played a role as well, resulting in a 4.5 percentage point lift in loyalty among owners that service within the dealer network.


Converting a customer from used to new can also impact loyalty rates. According to the analysis, 29.7 percent of used vehicle owners who returned to market for a new vehicle during the 2018 model year purchased the same brand. Likewise, customers returning to market with a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle who purchased a new vehicle of the same brand did so at a rate of 38 percent.

“As the market plateaus, insight from advanced analytics will enable OEMs and their dealers to engage with consumers more efficiently and effectively, through a better understanding of consumer buying behavior,” said Kristen Balasia, vice president of automotive advisory services at IHS Markit.


Brand and Model Level Winners Honored for Segment and Ethnic Loyalty

Ford achieved the highest loyalty rate of all makes during the 2018 model year, winning the Overall Loyalty to Make award for the ninth consecutive year. The award for Highest Conquest Percentage for the 2018 model year went to Jeep for the second year in a row.

IHS Markit again honored Toyota for highest Ethnic Loyalty to Make among all ethnic groups combined, as it led in loyalty among all three ethnic groups – African American, Hispanic and Asian.

Lincoln was a repeat winner in the Highest Loyalty to Dealer category, as more Lincoln owners returned to a Lincoln dealer for another Lincoln than any other brand during the 2018 model year.


Tesla was recognized for Most Improved Loyalty to Make for the model year and also was recognized for Most Improved Conquest Percentage during the 2018 model year.

IHS Markit also recognized 24 segment-level winners for their efforts to bring customers back for another vehicle of the same make and model in the 2018 model year.

A complete list of winners from the program is as follows:

Overall Loyalty Awards Winners

Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer

General Motors

Overall Loyalty to Make


Highest Conquest Percentage


Ethnic Market Loyalty to Make


Overall Loyalty to Dealer


Hispanic Market Loyalty to Make


Asian Market Loyalty to Make


African American Market Loyalty to Make


Most Improved Loyalty to Make


Most Improved Conquest Percentage


Segment Loyalty Awards Winners

Luxury Compact CUV

Lincoln MKC

Luxury Full-Size SUV

Lincoln Navigator

Luxury Mid-Size CUV

Lexus RX

Luxury Mid-Size SUV

Lexus GX

Luxury Sport Car

Porsche 911

Luxury Traditional Compact Car

Lincoln MKZ

Luxury Traditional Full-Size Car

Lexus LS

Luxury Traditional Mid-Size Car

Lexus ES

Luxury Traditional Sub-Compact Car

BMW i3

Compact CUV

Chevrolet Equinox

Compact SUV

Jeep Wrangler

Full- Size Three-Quarter To One-Ton Pickup

Ford F-Series

Full-Size Half-Ton Pickup

Ram 1500

Full-Size SUV

GMC Yukon Denali XL

Mid-Size CUV

Subaru Outback

Mid-Size Pickup

Toyota Tacoma

Mid-Size SUV

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Mid-Size Van

Honda Odyssey

Sport Car

Volkswagen GTI

Mid-Size Sport Car

Ford Mustang

Traditional Compact Car

Honda Civic

Traditional Full-Size Car

Toyota Avalon

Traditional Mid-Size Car

Toyota Camry

Traditional Sub-Compact Car

Mini Countryman






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