Overall, 61.8 percent of Ford owners in the market for a new vehicle traded their vehicle for another vehicle from Ford Motor Company. The Ford brand itself was nearly as high, at 60.1 percent.
This is the first time Ford has won the award for overall manufacturer loyalty since 1999.
The Automotive Loyalty Awards—now in their fifteenth year—are based on an analysis of 4.9 million "return to market events" during the 2010 model year—running October 1, 2009, through September 30, 2010—and gauge a manufacturer's ability to retain owners in repeat buying cycles. Loyalty, as Polk measures it, is when a household that owns a new vehicle returns to market and then buys or leases another new vehicle of the same make or model.
Among Asian and Hispanic owners, Toyota retained its top standing in loyalty, while among African-American owners Ford also ranked at the top.
"It's clear that the OEMs are paying attention to the importance of owner loyalty in this economy," said Stephen Polk, chairman, president, and CEO of Polk, in a news release. "We've seen many programs put into place to help them keep customers coming back – and it's paying off for them."
Polk pointed to another curious trend: throughout the sales slump, overall loyalty rates across the industry have increased. It appears that in a time of tight resources, shoppers are going with what's tried and true.
Kia most improved for loyalty in 2010
Kia was the most improved in loyalty, up nearly six percentage points from 2009, while repeat winners included the Mini Cooper, Toyota Prius, Chrysler Town & Country, Ford F-Series, Subaru Forester, Lexus RX, and Land Rover Range Rover.
Polk also notes the continued ascension of Asian brands, as opposed to domestic and European brands, in market share: Asian brands no hold about 54 percent of the market, as opposed to 37 percent for domestics and about nine percent for Europeans. The changes in loyalty signaled that trend: From 2005 to 2010, loyalty to Asian brands rose more than six percent, but loyalty to the 'Big 3' fell by nearly three percent.
See below for Polk's individual award winners and their calculated Loyalty Percentage:
Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer
Ford Motor Company
Overall Loyalty to Make
Ethnic Market Make – African American
Ethnic Market Make – Asian
Toyota (repeat winner)
Ethnic Market Make – Hispanic
Most Improved Loyalty to Make
+5.9 percentage points
Vehicle Category Awards
MINI Cooper (repeat winner)
Toyota Prius (repeat winner)
Luxury Sports Car
Chrysler Town & Country (repeat winner)
Ford F-Series (repeat winner)
Subaru Forester (repeat winner)
Lexus RX (repeat winner)
Land Rover Range Rover (repeat winner)
This story originally appeared at The Car Connection