Carmakers have two primary goals: to attract new buyers and keep them. Some, of course, are better at achieving these goals and others, just ask Subaru and Toyota. According to J.D. Power’s most recent study, both of these carmakers have some of the most loyal fans. But what makes these carmakers so appealing?
Subaru beat out Toyota by a small margin
You probably already know this, but people love Subarus. Many drivers perceive Subarus to be the safest cars on the road and as gateways to adventure. Furthermore, Subaru is also in a league of its own when it comes to performance. This carmaker offers its signature all-wheel-drive as a standard feature on each of its models and also stands out against the competition for its versatile options. Buying a Subaru truly feels makes drivers feel like they are joining an exclusive community; you can even get a merit badge for owning one.
According to 2020 J.D. Power’s U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study, Subaru retains 60.5 percent of its owners and Toyota isn’t far behind with 60.3 percent. Unlike Subaru though, Toyota ranks high in studies for both brand loyalty and quality. For the second year in a row, Subaru topped the list for having the most loyal customers but at the same time ranked among the lowest carmakers for low quality in another study. Toyota on the other hand is perceived as both a reliable and high-quality brand.
More about this year’s J.D. Power study
Honda, Ram, and Ford filled out the top five of J.D. Power’s study at 58.7 percent, 57.3 percent, and 54.3 percent respectively. These results are determined by the Power Information Network’s calculations based on if a car owner buys a vehicle from their current brand or ultimately decides to swap for a new vehicle from another brand. Based on this year’s findings, J.D. Power’s vice president of data and analytics Tyson Jominy said that it has become harder for carmakers to lure vehicle owners from another brand.
“There are many factors that contribute to brand loyalty, ranging from the experience a customer has when purchasing the vehicle to how driving it makes them feel,” said Tyson Jominy, vice president of data and analytics at J.D. Power. “Automakers are really focused on customer retention, as evidenced by the payment plans and incentives they’ve offered since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Many have gone above and beyond to offer customers financial assistance during a period of economic uncertainty, which does a lot to bolster consumer confidence in their chosen brand and repurchase it in the future.”J.D. Power
Notable changes over the past year
In an interview with AutoNews, Jominy went on to say that there were some surprising changes in this year’s brand loyalty study compared to last year’s. For starters, Volvo showed the most improvement in the luxury brand circuit by moving up from three spots to take 8th place. Lexus and Mercedes-Benz continue to rank highest in the luxury realm. Some carmakers still have lots of work to do though. Jaguar continues to rank among the lowest for customer retention.