Ranked

Worst to first, J.D. Power survey ranks brands with most loyal customer base

Subaru topped the list for brand loyalty for the second time in a row

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

There's little doubt that you know a “Ford guy" or a “Chevy man" slightly more quietly, there are people who won't even consider buying anything but a Toyota or Honda. Returning customers are the bread and butter of the auto industry.

Which brand has the most loyal customers? That's a question the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study explored.

"There are many factors that contribute to brand loyalty, ranging from the experience a customer has when purchasing the vehicle to how driving it makes them feel," said Tyson Jominy, vice president of data & analytics at J.D. Power. "Automakers are really focused on customer retention, as evidenced by the payment plans and incentives they've offered since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Many have gone above and beyond to offer customers financial assistance during a period of economic uncertainty, which does a lot to bolster consumer confidence in their chosen brand and repurchase it in the future."

To calculate the winner, J.D. Power calculates 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. The 2020 U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study calculations are based on transaction data from June 2019 through May 2020 and include all model years traded in.

No. 32 - Fiat

Fiat 500 "One Shot" docufilm still shots Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Fiat sells just five models in the U.S., but they haven't sold through their 2019 inventory yet. The stable includes the Fiat 500, 500X, 500L, 124 Spider (it's best-selling model), and 500E.

No. 31 - Chrysler

2020 Chrysler Pacifica

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Chrysler lineup is quite slim these days, but the brand did expand its offerings a bit for 2020 and 2021. They still sell the 300 sedan and the Pacifica minivan. Now, the company also sells a low-cost version of the Pacifica under the Voyagernameplate.

No. 30 - Dodge

2020 Dodge Charger SRT

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Dodge doesn't make many vehicles, and they've been around without too many modifications over the years though there have been Widebody variants brought to the table in recent years. The current Dodge lineup includes the Journey and Durango SUVs, Grand Caravan minivan, and Charger and Challenger cars.

No. 29 - Jaguar

Jaguar F-Type

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Jaguar's F-Pace and E-Pace make up the entirety of its SUV roster. The I-PACE is the company's all-electric crossover, the F-Type is the sports car, and the XE, XF, and XJare the available sedans.

No. 28 - MINI

2021 Mini Countryman

Photo courtesy of MINI

MINI sells its signature Cooper model in two- and four-door hardtop varieties with several grades to choose from per model. There's also the Countryman, which is more like a crossover, and the Clubman. MINI also offers a few convertible versions of its models.

No. 27 - Mitsubishi

2020 Mitsubishi Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi sells just a few models in the U.S., the Outlander, Outlander Sport, Outlander PHEV, Mirage, and Eclipse Cross.

No. 26 - Buick

2019 Buick Regal Avenir Photo courtesy of Buick

Buick has gotten away from selling cars in the U.S. and now has four SUV models in its lineup including the Encore, Encore GX, Envision, and Enclave. The Encore GX is new for 2020. Don't let the name fool you, it's a completely different vehicle than the smaller Encore.

No. 25 - Infiniti

2020 Infiniti QX60

​Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Infiniti is in the middle of a brand makeover. It still sells the Q50 and Q60 cars as well as the QX50, QX60, and QX80 SUVs. Most of those models received upgrades for 2020. The launch of the new QX55 SUV is slated for later this year. The QX60 will launch as a 2021 model next year and then there's a few more things up the company's sleeves.

No. 24 - Maserati

2021 Maserati Ghibli Hybrid Photo courtesy of Maserati

Maserati sells just a few models in the U.S. - the Quattroporte, Levante, GranTurismo, and Ghibli. The Ghibli Hybrid was just introduced and the automaker is planning a complete lineup revitalization in the coming years.

No. 23 - Cadillac

2021 Cadillac Escalade Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac has also changed up its lineup in a big way over the last year. It now includes the CT4 and CT5 sedans as well as the XT4 and XT5 SUVs. The Escalade is getting a complete redo for 2021 and the CT6 will be discontinued.

No. 22 - Lincoln

2020 Lincoln Corsair

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company​

If you can't remember the names of the vehicles in the Lincoln lineup, you're not alone. The company recently renamed and redesigned most of their SUVs while also introducing a new one to the mix. The MKC became the Corsair and the MKX is now the Nautilus. There's now the Aviator, and the Navigator remains the flagship. And don't forget about the Continental and MKZ!

No. 21 - Volvo

2021 Volvo XC40

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Compared to other automakers, the Volvo lineup is rather slim. They offer the XC90, XC60, and XC40 SUVs as well as the S90 and S60 sedans and V90, V90 Cross Country, V60, and V60 Cross Country wagons. Several of the models come in hybrid form.

No. 20 - Acura

2020 Acura RDX

Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura's lineup is in the middle of a complete redesign. It sells the ILX, TLX, RDX, and MDX. The company just announced that the RDX will no longer be sold in the U.S. and that they've completely redesigned the TLX for 2021 including a new Type Svariant.

No. 19 - GMC

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

Photo courtesy of GM

GMC's lineup is small but mighty. Buyers are flocking to the premium brand, buying up its Terrain, Acadia, and Yukon SUVs as well as its Canyon, Sierra 1500, and Sierra HD trucks.

No. 18 - Land Rover

Range Rover Sport SVR Media Drive, March 2018 JLR Global PR

Land Rover just launched the 2020 Defender. It joins the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar, Range Rover Evoque, Discovery, and Discovery Sport in the British automaker's lineup.

No. 17 - Mazda

2020 Mazda Mazda3 Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Mazda doesn't sell many vehicles in the U.S., but its lineup is competitive and includes Mazda3 and Mazda6 sedans, the MX-5 Miata, and four SUVs: CX-3, CX-30, CX-5, and CX-9.

No. 16 - Jeep

2020 Jeep Wrangler Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Jeep now sells a diversified portfolio of SUVs including the Renegade, Compass, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and Wrangler. The Gladiator has made a statement as the company's truck option. A new Grand Cherokee should be out later this year and look for the forthcoming Wagoneer down the pipeline.

No. 15 - Volkswagen

Volkswagen Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen's U.S. lineup is small, but much of it is made in the U.S.A. There's Jetta, Jetta GLI, Passat, and Arteon cars as well as Tiguan, Atlas Cross Sport, and AtlasSUVs. If a wagon is more your style, you can get a Golf SportWagen or a Golf Alltrack. The Beetle, Golf, Golf GTI, and Golf R are also still on sale.

No. 14 - Nissan

2022 Nissan Ariya

Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Company

Nissan has a wide variety of models to choose from. Its Versa, Sentra, and Altima cars have all be redesigned over the last two years. The Maxima got a solid mid-cycle refresh. On the SUV side of things, the Kicks, Rogue Sport, Rogue, Pathfinder, and Armada all remain options. Nissan plans to launch new versions of most of those in the next two years. The Frontier has a new engine for 2020 and will be all-new for 2021. The Titan has also undergone a significant upgrade.

No. 13 - Audi

2021 Audi Q5

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has had a big year revamping its lineup and adding the E-Tron all-electric SUV and additional variants of its most popular models.

The Audi cars lineup now includes: A3, S3, RS 3, A4, S4, A5Sportback, S5 Sportback, RS 5 Sportback, A6, S6, A7, S7, RS 7, A8, S8, A5 Coupe, S5 Coupe, RS 5 Coupe, A5 Cabriolet, S5 Cabriolet, TT Coupe, TTS Coupe, TT RS Coupe, TT Roadster, R8, R8 Spyder, A4 Allroad, A6 Allroad, and RS 6 Avant.

The roster of SUVs includes: Q3, Q5, SQ5, Q7, SQ7, Q8, SQ8, and RS Q8.

The aforementioned E-Tron SUV is joined by the E-Tron Sportback in the Audi EV stable.

No. 12 - Porsche

Porsche 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition Photo courtesy of Porsche

Porsche doesn't make as many vehicles as some automakers each year, but they're still plagued by problems similar to what you'll find in a mass market car. The Porsche lineup includes the 718, 911, Taycan, Panamera, Macan, and Cayenne. Each of those has multiple variants - the 911 alone has 22 different models.

No. 11 - BMW

2020 BMW 3 Series Photo courtesy of BMW

Visiting the BMW lineup is like going to Baskin Robbins. There are a wide variety of flavors to suit nearly every palette. the list of SUVs includes the X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7. There's the 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 Series sedans and coupes. There are M and cabriolet variants of most of the cars. BMW also sells the new Z4 as well as the i3 and i8 electric vehicles.

No. 10 - Hyundai

2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

If you've overlooked Hyundais lately, it's time to look closer. The company's lineup is diverse and offers a high-quality portfolio of desirable products from the Veloster, Accent, Elantra, and Sonata cars to the Venue, Kona, Tucson, Santa Fe, and PalisadeSUVs. Most of those models are getting a full redesign or a refresh for 2020.

No. 9 - Mercedes-Benz

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz stable is nearly full, not just with a wide variety of models, but a slew of engine options to choose from once you pick the car or SUV you're after.

In the U.S., the automaker sells the A-, C-, E-, and S-Class sedans. There's also the Mercedes-Maybach sedan line and the E-Clas wagon. The CLA, C-Class, E-Class, CLS, S-Class, and Mercedes-AMG GT (two- and four-door) all have coupe variants.

There are C-, E-, and S-Class cabriolets as well as the SLC and SL roadster and a convertible version of the Mercedes-AMG GT.

As for SUVs, the lineup includes the GLA, GLB, GLC, GLE, GLS, and G-Class. Mercedes offers coupe versions of the GLC and GLE.

No. 8 - Lexus

2021 Lexus LS

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

The Lexus lineup has been rather stagnant lately (with the exception of the ES) but that's about to change. The company just showed off a redesigned IS, and a number of SUV upgrades look to be in the pipeline. Lexus still sells the RC and LS cars.

No. 7 - Chevrolet

2022 Chevrolet Traverse Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevrolet's lineup is undergoing a redo. The Sonic, Spark, Malibu, and Impala cars may be available on dealer lots now, but most won't make it another model year. The Bolt EV, Trax, and Blazer are sticking around. Chevy's Camaro and Corvette are still sports car options (the 'Vette was just redesigned).

The company has introduced the Trailblazer, refreshed the Equinox, and plans to bring the new Tahoe and Suburban to market this year. The Colorado will undergo a refresh for 2021 and the Silveradoand Silverado HD have been recently redesigned.

No. 6 - Kia

2021 Kia Rio

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Kia lineup is more diverse than it has ever been. The company now offers the Rio, Forte, Optima, Stinger, Cadenza, and K900 sedans as well as a roster of other models including the Soul, Seltos, Sportage, Niro, Sorento, Telluride, and Sedona. The automaker recently debuted redesigned versions of the Optima/K5, Sorento, and Sedona.

No. 5 - Ford

2019 Ford F-150 Raptor

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford recently slimmed their lineup as the company's focused shifted toward next-gen models. Still, there's a number of competitive offerings. Fusion and Mustang are their only cars. The SUV and crossover lineup includes the EcoSport, Escape, Edge, Explorer, Expedition, and Mustang Mach-E. Some Flex models remain on automaker lots. The Ranger, F-150, and Super Duty round out the trucks lineup while the vans offered are the Transit and Transit Connect. The Ford GT is still sold in limited quantities.

No. 4 - RAM

2020 Ram 1500 Built to Serve Edition Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Ram sells just two models, the Ram 1500 and Ram HD trucks. The 1500 has recently been redesigned and the Ram HD models underwent a refresh. Word on the street is that a midsize truck could soon join the ranks.

No. 3 - Honda

2019 Honda Passport Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Mfg. Inc.

The Honda lineup now include the CR-V Hybrid. It also has the Civic, Accord, Ridgeline, Passport, Pilot, CR-V, Insight, and HR-V. The Honda Odyssey minivan is getting a facelift for the 2021 model year. Look for a redesigned Pilot to debut soon as well.

No. 2 - Toyota

2020 Toyota Tacoma Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota delivers a lot of what customers are looking for. Its lineup includes the Yaris, 86, Supra, Corolla, Camry, and Avalon cars as well as the CH-R, RAV4, Highlander, Land Cruiser, and Sequoia. The company also sells the Tacoma and Tundra trucks. They recently announced that they would be selling a plug-in version of the RAV4 and bringing back the Venza nameplate for 2021.

No. 1 - Subaru

Subaru Crosstrek Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Subaru introduced new Forester, Legacy, and Outback models in the last 18 months. They've also added the Ascent three-row SUV to their lineup and are gearing up to launch a refreshed Crosstrek. The WRX and BRZ are also slated to be made over sooner rather than later.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

This image of a young child was considered so perverted by some that Audi decided to apologize for it.

Photo courtesy of Audi A

Audi has apologized for an advertisement that shows an image of a young girl eating a banana while she stands in front of an Audi RS 4 Avant.

The apology was issued after outcry from critics on Twitter who pointed to perceived numerous flaws in the ad from the overt sexualization of the child because of the banana involved to the potential danger the child was in because she was standing in front of a parked vehicle that can go up to 174 mph.

In the three-part apology, Audi stated, "We care for children. We hear you and let's get this straight: We care for children. The Audi RS 4 is a family car with more than thirty driver assistance systems including an emergency break system. That's why we showcased it with various family members for the campaign."
The statement continues, “We hoped we could convey these messages, showing that even for the weakest traffic participants it is possible to relaxingly lean on the RS technology. That was a mistake! Audi never intended to hurt anyone's feelings. We sincerely apologize for this insensitive image and ensure that it will not be used in future. We will also immediately examine internally, how this campaign has been created and if control mechanisms failed in this case.“
Some of Audi's Twitter followers said that, in their view, the criticism was likely unwarranted while others chose to concentrate on the fact that the model in the photo features a potent power plant. Others pointed out that they felt that the image was pro-pedophilia writing, in German, “I see a pedophile ad here. And child abuse. Disgusting and reprehensible.“

Though this is the first advertising slip up this year for the Audi brand, it's the second major ad folly for Volkswagen Group, Audi's parent company. In May, the company became embroiled in a controversy surrounding an advertisement that features a dark-skinned man being maneuvered around by the hands of a white woman. As the ad developed, the dark-skinned man ended up being flicked away from a yellow Volkswagen Golf, all while upbeat music played in the background.

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Journalists gather around Jim Farley, then-Ford executive vice president and president of global markets, during the media days at the 2018 North American International Auto Show.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company has announced that Jim Farley will succeed Jim Hackett as the CEO of the company beginning October 1. Who is Jim Farley? AutomotiveMap takes a closer look at the man and his rise to the top of one of the most heralded automakers in the world.

The beginning

James D. “Jim" Farley Jr.'s history with Ford and the auto industry started long before he joined the company in 2007. The Argentina-born Farley's grandfather Emmet E. Tracy, was a worker at Ford in the company's early days, working at the company's Rouge River Plant beginning in 1914 when he was just 13 years old. Farley credits his grandfather for spurring his love of automobiles.

Jim Hackett Jim Farley CEO Outgoing CEO Jim Hackett and incoming CEO Jim Farley chart in front of an image of the employee card of Farley's grandfather, Emmet Tracy, an early Ford employee.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

When he was 10 years old, Farley had a paper route in Connecticut that included a local Ferrari distributorship. He says that he would spend hours there chatting up the Italian mechanics.

Tracy would eventually leave the Ford plant to become a Ford dealer and own a Ford supplier plant. Farley worked at that plant one summer when he was 15. The summer before that, he says he spend working at a shop rebuilding car engines. He would eventually buy a '66 Ford Mustang with a blown engine, restoring it for himself, complete with a 289 V8.

Farley is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He earned a bachelor's degree In economics and computer science. Farley got his MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He put himself through school by working at a Santa Monica vehicle-restoration shop that was run by former Formula One champion Phil Hill - Hill & Vaughn on Second Street.

Jim Farley Ford 10 Millionth Mustang Ford (and Farley) celebrated the production of the 10 millionth Mustang at its Dearborn headquarters and its Flat Rock Assembly Plant, including flyovers from three WWII-era P-51 Mustang fighter planes and Mustangs produced for more than five decades parading from Dearborn to Flat Rock.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Toyota years

He started his automaker career at Toyota, a move that he says some of his family members resented. However, it was Farley's grandfather who encouraged him saying. Farley told it to Automotive News like this: “He said, 'You should go to Toyota. It's the best car company for now. You can come back to Detroit.'"

And so he did. Farley joined Toyota in 1990 as part of the company's strategic planning department. He moved through marketing and product positions in the U.S. and Europe eventually serving as the man responsible for the successful launch and rollout of the Scion brand.

He went on to hold roles including group vice president of Toyota Division marketing and was responsible for all Toyota Division market planning, advertising, merchandising, sales promotion, incentives and internet activities. He also was the group vice president and general manager of Lexus, responsible for all sales, marketing and customer satisfaction activities.

Toyota Scion tC Jim Farley, working in his then-role as Scion vice president, poses with the new tC Sports Coupe at the North American International Auto Show January 5, 2004 in Detroit, Michigan.Photo by Getty Images

Farley did make it back to Detroit during those days, every January as the North American International Auto Show kicked off. It was during that annual pilgrimage that Farley would visit his grandparents' graves. “"I wipe off the snow, if it's snowing, and I talk about my life," Farley said, before pausing and turning his head to the side. "I'm going to get really emotional — son of a b----, I'm not supposed to do that as an executive — anyway, it's the real deal for me. It's not about money," Automotive News reported in 2007.

The switch to Ford

Farley and his wife Lia are the parents of three children. The couple adopted a baby girl in 2007 before Lia gave birth to their son. When he took his first job with Ford as marketing chief in 2007, it was on the heels of a difficult time for the family that had seen his wife spend the last three months of her pregnancy in the hospital as Farley, with the help of neighbors, took care of their daughter and finalized his deal with Ford, Automotive News reported at the time.

While Farley got up and running at Ford, he would travel back home to California on the weekends to be with his family before finally settling them all in Michigan once his daughter's adoption was finalized. Even in 2007, his commitment to Ford was strong, saying at the time, "I'm going to be there forever. I didn't trade in my life in Santa Monica to move around every two years. I'm a car guy. There's only two car companies I really like, and I'm on the second one."

Jim Farley 2013 New York Auto Show Jim Farley, serving in his then-role as Ford executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln, discusses the consumer trends and demographic shifts that are reshaping the U.S. auto industry at the 2013 New York International Auto Show.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Big moves at Ford

After two years on the job at Ford, Farley was appointed group vice president, global marketing and Canada, Mexico and South America. He had added responsibility for Ford's operations in Canada, Mexico and South America in September 2009.

In August 2010 when Farley was appointed to lead global marketing sales and service, it marked the first time Ford had a single global leader for Marketing, Sales & Service. He had the added role of he senior global leader for Lincoln from December 2012 to August 2014. It was during his time as executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales & Service at Lincoln where the brand began its turnaround, setting the course for the company to decliner the types of vehicles it is offering today. He also lead Lincoln's introduction to China.

Lincoln Aviator Launch 2018 New York Auto Show During the New York International Auto Show in 2018, Jim Farley speaks in front of the just-revealed Lincoln Avaitor.Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

From 2015 to 2017, Farley served as executive vice president and president, Ford Europe, Middle East and Africa. His tenure included milestones of record profitability, record margins, and increased sales.

In use 2017 he was named Executive Vice President and president, Global Markets, for Ford Motor Company. Company CEO Jim Hackett tapped Farley to be the president of New Businesses, Technology and Strategy in April 2019. In that role, he was tasked with helping the company determine how to capitalize on powerful forces reshaping the industry – such as software platforms, connectivity, AI, automation and new forms of propulsion.

Jim Farley Ken Block LAAS Fiesta launch Jim Farley, then-Group Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford Motor Company with Action sports superstar, Ken Block after he drove his Gymkhana Ford Fiesta at Universal Studios on the eve of the Los Angeles Auto Show.Photo by Sam VarnHagen, courtesy of Ford Motor Company

In February of this year, Farley was named chief operating officer of Ford Motor Company, taking over for Joe Hinrichs and solidifying his position as the next CEO of the company. In a press conference on August 3, 2020, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said that the board talked about looking at external candidates for CEO, but they never actually did because Farley was the obvious choice.

What type of person is Farley? A story in the Detroit Free Press earlier this year said this of him:

“Jim Farley is the guy who prefers to be dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, spending time in a garage wrenching on classic Mustangs and vintage motorcycles. He respects men and women who have oil-stained clothes, busted knuckles and grease under their nails. He appreciates people who do engine and body work themselves.“

He's not a Man who spends his time chatting with old pals at the country club over a game of golf. To achieve relaxation, he races his 1965 Ford GT40 around tracks far and near.

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