Hyundai snatches top spot in brand loyalty from Toyota

World leader slips to third spot while Honda holds on to second

Gone are the days when Japanese and European car brands command customer loyalty over other carmakers as Kelley Blue Book's Market Intelligence Data on showed Hyundai now tops the list of returning clients.

Hyundai, a Korean carmaker, posted the biggest increase in loyalty rating when KBB compared data recorded in February 2010 (56.3 percent) versus the last quarter of 2009 (10.4 percent).

Last year's leading brand in customer loyalty, Toyota, dropped to third place as only 53.3 percent of the brand's current car owners are looking at new models within the brand. Holding on second spot is Honda as its clients who are in the market for new models within the brand rose 0.7 percent to 55.8 percent.

"Hyundai is clearly benefiting from 'a perfect storm'--a result of introducing passionate new products like the 2011 Sonata and 2010 Tucson, while Honda's mainstream vehicles like the CR-V and Accord are a bit stale in the marketplace and Toyota is experiencing a huge consumer perception crisis," said KBB market analyst James Bell. "To sustain this momentum, Hyundai should continue to promote its attractive new-vehicle lineup, solid warranty offer and strong price-points to new-car shoppers."

KBB is the United States' largest automotive vehicle valuation company. Its Market Intelligence data analysis examines site traffic to used-car trade-in pages and new-car pricing report pages on the KBB website.

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