IHS Markit Names GM Top Manufacturer for Seventh Consecutive Year

IHS Markit Names GM Top Manufacturer for 7th Time

Ford wins 'Overall Loyalty to Make' and Volkswagen wins new 'Most Improved Alternative Powertrain Loyalty to Make' award.

IHS Markit has announced the winners of the 26th annual Automotive Loyalty Awards, recognizing General Motors for its leadership as top manufacturer for automotive loyalty in the U.S. in 2021. This is the seventh consecutive win for GM in the ‘Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer’ category and 18th in the last 26 years. Despite inventory constraints throughout the year, GM retained 64 percent of its customers due to continued strong demand for their utility and pickup lineup.

Ford took top honors in the ‘Overall Loyalty to Make’ category, winning its 12th consecutive award. This marks 21 wins for the brand in this category since its inception. Ford’s leadership in pickups contributed to its industry leading loyalty level of 60 percent, with F-Series accounting for 38 percent of the brand’s make loyal volume while new entries like the Bronco, Bronco Sport, Maverick, and Mustang Mach-E contributed a combined 10 percent in their first full year in the market.

In recognition of the continued investment in electrification throughout the automotive industry, IHS Markit has expanded its award categories acknowledging brand retention among hybrid and electric vehicle owners. New for 2021 is the ‘Most Improved Alternative Powertrain Loyalty to Make’ award, recognizing an OEM’s improvement in its ability to retain an owner of a hybrid or electric vehicle to the brand, and also have them purchase another alternative powertrain vehicle upon returning to market. This year’s inaugural winner is Volkswagen, which saw a 17 percentage-point improvement in alternative powertrain loyalty, compared to the previous year, due to the launch of the ID4.

“Given the unique nature of 2021, with the challenges of both the pandemic and inventory shortages, retaining customers is more important than ever,” said Joe LaFeir, President, Automotive Insights, IHS Markit. “This year’s winners have certainly demonstrated effective marketing strategies that have resonated with customers and led to more return to market activity.”

Recognizing the importance of ethnic loyalty since 2008, IHS Markit has acknowledged three brands for their efforts in retaining their diverse customer base. Ethnic consumers represented 34 percent of all new vehicle registrations in 2021, reinforcing the importance to manufacturers of appealing to these constituencies. For ‘African American Loyalty to Make’, Toyota led the field with a 61 percent retention rate among African Americans. The ‘Asian Loyalty to Make’ award was captured by Tesla for the second consecutive year, with 53 percent loyalty. Toyota was recognized for the ‘Hispanic Loyalty to Make’ award for the ninth time since the award’s inception, with 61 percent loyalty.

IHS Markit also analyzed brands for year-over-year improvement in their loyalty rates. For 2021, Genesis was honored with the ‘Most Improved Make Loyalty’ award, increasing brand loyalty by 17 percentage-points for 2021 vs. 2020. Continued success of the G80 redesign, combined with strong demand for the newly launched GV70 and GV80 utility vehicles, contributed to Genesis’ gains in loyalty for the year.

Another key metric for this year’s Loyalty Awards was conquests, due to its importance in helping a brand capture new customers. The ‘Highest Conquest Percentage’ award category was won by Tesla for the third year in a row; Tesla was able to conquest 22 percent of the eligible volume in the segments in which it competes.

Honda scored its first ever win in the ‘Overall Loyalty to Dealer’ category as 40 percent of Honda owners returning to market acquired their next vehicle from the same dealer.

A complete list of 2021 award winners follows:

Overall Loyalty to ManufacturerGeneral Motors*
Overall Loyalty to MakeFord*
African American Market Loyalty to MakeToyota*
Asian Market Loyalty to MakeTesla*
Hispanic Market Loyalty to MakeToyota*
Most Improved Loyalty to MakeGenesis
Overall Loyalty to DealerHonda
Highest Conquest PercentageTesla*
Highest Alternative Powertrain Loyalty to MakeTesla*
Most Improved Highest Alternative Powertrain Loyalty to MakeVolkswagen
Small UtilityFord Bronco
Mid-Size UtilityJeep Grand Cherokee
Full-Size UtilityFord Expedition*
Mid-Size PickupHonda Ridgeline
Light-Duty PickupRam 1500*
Heavy-Duty PickupRam 2500/3500
VanToyota Sienna
Sports CarDodge Challenger
Small CarChevrolet Bolt*
Large CarToyota Camry*
Luxury Small UtilityBMW X3
Luxury Mid-Size UtilityLexus RX*
Luxury Full-Size UtilityCadillac Escalade
Luxury Sports CarChevrolet Corvette*
Luxury Small CarAcura TLX
Luxury Mid-Size CarLexus ES*
Luxury Full-Size CarMercedes-Benz S-Class

Note: *repeat winners from the 2020 awards, although some segment names have been adjusted

IHS Markit Methodology

This year’s awards are based on a fact-based analysis of 13.4 million new retail vehicle registrations in the U.S. during the 2021 calendar year. Loyalty is determined when a household that owns a new vehicle returns to market and acquired another new vehicle of the same make, model or manufacturer. The newly acquired vehicle may be either a replacement or an addition to the household fleet.

IHS Markit has been tracking automotive loyalty for 26 years. Major automakers and their marketing partners rely on these data and analyses to make informed decisions surrounding related to customer purchasing behavior, including conquest and retention. The Automotive Loyalty Awards by IHS Markit are the industry’s only fact-based awards of their kind. For more information, please visit: www.ihsmarkit.com/auto-loyalty.

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