A press report out early today showed that the Kelley Blue Book company has identified Korean auto maker Hyundai as the most common return-customer seller in the past quarter. Apparently, Hyundai edged past the “big two” car makers Honda and Toyota which have been among the leaders in customer loyalty, and overall brand approval, for many years.
The news represents a first for Hyundai, where the manufacturer kept its popularity for the entire quarter from April to June, according to KBB.com, the web site for Kelley. Press releases from KBB.com show the hard numbers: with 52.3%, Hyundai won out over Honda, with 49.7% and Toyota with 42.7%. Next was Ford, a domestic brand known for its loyal U.S. audience, with 45.4% and Subaru, a brand that garnered about 44%, which we’re assuming was partially based on the perennial popularity of solid, road-worthy vehicles like the Forester, which customers are also known to buy again and again.
Within the car industry in general, experts have been seeing reduced customer loyalty as economic shifts occur around the world. In leaner times, customers may decide not to spend extra money on a solid brand, or look for current alternatives such as special rebates or incentives. However, KBB.com also reported that luxury car makers like Audi and BMW, as well as the iconic Mercedes-Benz line, did well in Q2, compared to the first quarter of 2011, though sales are still not as robust as they were in prior years before the U.S. mortgage crisis and subsequent events brought a “new normal.”
If you are looking at buying a new or used car or other vehicle, you can use the helpful industry information at KBB.com to test the winds. Kelley offers not only contemporary consumer reports on models and industry trends, but other pricing resources that can be critical for buyers. For those who borrow to finance a car purchase, it’s also important to evaluate all of the potential financing options to get the best interest rates available and drive away for less with low-fee borrowing agreements. Take advantage of local and manufacturer-direct deals to practice thrifty purchases, and you’ll be in a better position to make those “brand loyalty” choices the next time it’s necessary to upgrade your wheels.