Brand Loyalty Slipping Among New-Vehicle Owners, J.D. Power Finds

While the pandemic kept most vehicle owners loyal to their brands, things were different in the past year as more people opted to jump the fence, according to the latest brand loyalty study published by J.D. Power in the U.S.

“As vehicle availability increased and more choices hit the market for consumers, loyalty among brands as a whole saw a decline this year,” said Tyson Jominy, vice president of data & analytics at J.D. Power.

The 2023 study is based on transaction data from September 2022 through August 2023 and includes all model years traded in. It reflects the percentage of vehicle owners who choose the same brand when trading in or purchasing their next vehicle. 

Jominy also noted that owners were tied down to their vehicles for longer than normal due to ongoing supply chain disruptions, and as a result were more likely to experience problems with their vehicles.

“Now that some of those issues have eased, consumers are looking to get behind the wheel of something different and are no longer remaining as loyal to a brand,” Jominy added. “However, many of the highest-ranking brands perform similarly year after year. When vehicles deliver an experience that meets owner expectations, such as by offering superb build quality, owners are likely to reward brands with their loyalty.”   

Photo: Toyota

Top Brands for Customer Loyalty in 2023

When it comes to cars, Toyota led all mainstream brands for the second year in a row. With a loyalty score of 60 percent, it easily topped second-place finisher Honda (55 percent).

Subaru was the leader on the SUV side, with 61.1 percent of its customers remaining loyal to the brand. However, Toyota was a close runner-up (60.5 percent).

Across the entire auto industry, the most loyal customers were Ford pickup owners: 64.6 percent of them stuck with the Blue Oval this year. Once again, Toyota ranked second (60.4 percent).

As for luxury brands, Porsche retained its top spot with a loyalty score of 56.8 percent, far ahead of Mercedes-Benz (50.5 percent). Volvo had the most loyal SUV customers at 56.5 percent, though BMW was right behind (56.1 percent).

You can check out other recent J.D. Power studies that we’ve covered in order to compare makes and models based on initial quality, desirability/satisfaction and more.

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