DETROIT — General Motors Co. retained its position as the leader in automotive manufacturer loyalty during the presentation of the IHS Markit Loyalty Awards, held in Detroit during the Automotive News World Congress. The awards, now in their 23rd year, are presented annually by business information provider IHS Markit.
This year's program honored winners in more than 30 categories, including Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer, which went to GM with a loyalty rate of 68.3%. Overall Loyalty to Make belonged to Ford with a loyalty rate of 63%.
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% 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%, and five percentage points separated the top three brands.
Analysts noted that, in 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%, 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.”