With More Choices, Brand Loyalty Slips Among New-Vehicle Owners

Toyota ranked highest among mass market brand car owners for a second consecutive year, with a 60.0% loyalty rate.

As new-vehicle inventory and sales rebound to pre-pandemic levels in the U.S., more buyers are choosing to forego loyalty to a specific brand, according to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study.

“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, in a news release. “Additionally, 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. 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.”

Highest-Ranking Brands

Porsche ranks highest among premium brand car owners for a second consecutive year, with a 56.8% loyalty rate. Mercedes-Benz (50.5%) ranks second.

Volvo ranks highest among premium brand SUV owners with a 56.5% loyalty rate. BMW (56.1%) ranks second.

Toyota ranks highest among mass market brand car owners for a second consecutive year, with a 60.0% loyalty rate. Honda (55.0%) ranks second.

Subaru ranks highest among mass market brand SUV owners with a 61.1% loyalty rate. Toyota (60.5%) ranks second.

Ford ranks highest among truck owners for a second consecutive year, with a 64.6% loyalty rate, the highest loyalty rate in the study. Toyota (60.4%) ranks second.

The study, now in its fifth year, uses data from the Power Information Network to calculate whether an owner purchased the same brand after trading in an existing vehicle on a new vehicle. Customer loyalty is based on the percentage of vehicle owners who choose the same brand when trading in or purchasing their next vehicle. Only sales at new-vehicle franchised dealers qualify. The study includes brand loyalty across five segments: premium car; premium SUV; mass market car; mass market SUV; and truck.

The 2023 study calculations are based on transaction data from September 2022 through August 2023 and include all model years traded in.

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