Worst to first, J.D. Power survey ranks brands with most loyal customer base
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 - FiatPhoto 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
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
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
Photo courtesy of Jaguar
No. 28 - MINI
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 - MitsubishiPhoto courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors
No. 26 - BuickPhoto 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
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 - MaseratiPhoto 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 - CadillacPhoto 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
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
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
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
Photo courtesy of GM
No. 18 - Land RoverJLR Global PR
No. 17 - MazdaPhoto courtesy of Mazda North American Operations
No. 16 - JeepPhoto 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 - VolkswagenPhoto 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
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
Photo courtesy of Audi AG
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 aforementioned E-Tron SUV is joined by the E-Tron Sportback in the Audi EV stable.
No. 12 - PorschePhoto 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 - BMWPhoto 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 - HyundaiPhoto 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-BenzPhoto 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.
No. 8 - Lexus
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 - ChevroletPhoto 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
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
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 - RAMPhoto 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 - HondaPhoto 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 - ToyotaPhoto 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 - SubaruPhoto 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.