The 2013 Ford Fusion has the highest customer loyalty of all cars. Image © Ford

Customer loyalty still ranks GM, Ford over Toyota, Honda

Few verifiable statistics are more telling about automotive quality than when a customer repeats purchasing a particular brand. In those terms, GM and Ford are at the head of the pack in front of Toyota and Honda.

The Japanese automakers suffered somewhat after the earthquake and tsunami that struck the island in March of 2011, causing some buyers to move to other brands.

In Experian’s Automotive Industry Market Trends and Loyalty report, Toyota took third in overall corporate loyalty, with 45.7 percent of their first quarter 2012 customers purchasing or leasing another Toyota vehicle. The brand has regained nearly four full points since the second quarter of 2011, when the ranking fell to 41.8 percent.

Honda's corporate loyalty was 42.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012, after dropping to 36.4 percent in the third quarter of 2011.

Meanwhile, General Motors and Ford currently rank first and second in corporate loyalty during for the first quarter of 2012 at 48.4 percent and 47.4 percent, respectively. Almost one in two buyers of GM and Ford vehicles are repurchasing the same brand and that speaks volumes about American quality.

"While General Motors and Ford continue to battle for the top spot in corporate loyalty, Toyota and Honda were both able to significantly tighten the race in the first quarter of 2012," said Jeffrey Anderson, Experian Automotive's director of analytics and consulting. "After the earthquake and tsunami, the Japanese OEMs suffered significant production disruptions, and many of their customers opted to go to another manufacturer when they returned to market. The drop in corporate loyalty appears to have been a temporary phenomenon, however, as corporate loyalty is returning to pre-earthquake levels."

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