IHS Markit recently announced the results of its annual Automotive Loyalty Awards program, which recognizes OEMs and brands for their leadership in customer retention. General Motors Corporation retained its position as the leader in automotive manufacturer loyalty. The awards, now in their 24th year, are given annually and are the industry’s only fact-based awards of their kind.
IHS Markit named winners across 15 categories, including General Motors for the top award, Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer, with a loyalty rate of 68.9 percent, and Ford brand for Overall Loyalty to Make, with a loyalty rate of 62.3 percent.
Automotive manufacturers and brands were recognized for superior customer retention and conquest efforts during the 2019 calendar year. IHS Markit analysis found that, in 2019, with approximately 17.5 million new vehicle registrations during the calendar year, 54.6 percent of customers returned to market to purchase or lease another new vehicle from the same make they already owned.
“We’re proud to honor the achievements of the OEMs, brands and dealer networks as they succeed in winning back customers,” said Joe LaFeir, senior VP and GM, automotive, at IHS Markit. “This competitive environment requires strategic efforts and great products, and it’s clear these initiatives have been a key focus for this year’s winners.”
2019 marks the seventh consecutive year of an industry loyalty rate more than 50 percent. This is the result of the overall efforts that brands across that industry have invested in owner retention strategies.
Whether or not increased loyalty rates can be maintained in this current environment is yet to be seen and may pose a challenge to the industry. An analysis of loyalty rates during and following the recession that occurred in 2008-2009 revealed a significant drop in the brand loyalty rate in the quarter immediately following the recession (-4.1 percentage points). As such, brands will need to prioritize owner retention strategies and messaging as quickly as possible to prevent a recurrence of the trend as we head into the recovery phase that will follow once the COVID-19 situation begins to resolve.
Brand and Model Level Winners Honored for Segment and Ethnic Loyalty
Ford achieved the highest loyalty rate of all makes during 2019, winning the Overall Loyalty to Make award for the 2019 calendar year.
IHS Markit recognized 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 topped the Overall Loyalty to Dealer category, as more Lincoln owners returned to a Lincoln dealer for another Lincoln than any other brand during the 2019 calendar year.
Tesla was recognized for Highest Conquest Percentage during the 2019 calendar year.
IHS Markit also recognized 10 segment winners for their efforts to bring customers back for another vehicle of the same make and model in the 2019 calendar year.
A complete list of 2019 calendar year award winners follows: