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2011 Car Brand Perception Survey: Brand loyalty and purchase intent

Consumer Reports News: January 05, 2011 12:03 PM

Consumer Reports’ 2011 Car Brand Perception Survey reveals how consumers rank car brands across seven purchase-influencing factors, such as safety, quality, and value. The next step is exploring what these consumers will buy.

The data reveals two differing trends. Brand loyalty is strongest for Honda, meaning more current owners will purchase another Honda than recorded for other major brands. On the other hand, consideration of Ford and Chevrolet models is up significantly.

Honda and Toyota have effectively tied as brand loyalty leaders, with about six out of 10 current owners stating they are likely to purchase from those brands for their next new vehicle. However, both brands have lost significant loyalty since last year’s survey.

Ford has been a standout for its strengthening brand perception in the survey, yet its brand loyalty is down this year.

Chevrolet would seem to be the winner by this metric, retaining a consistent 57-percent loyalty rate, just a few Silverados away from the leaders.

Dodge has inched up, with improved products on sale this fall and an all-new Durango as possible influences.

Brand loyalty 2011 2010
Toyota 58% 70%
Honda 59 67
Ford 53 58
Chevrolet 57 57
Dodge 35 32

When looking at all brands consumers said they were most likely to purchase next time they shop for a new car, Ford and Chevrolet rose to the top. Ford was the only brand that had an appreciable difference in purchase intent between genders, with men (20 percent) favoring Ford more strongly than women (15 percent).

Likely to purchase    
Brand 2011 2010
Ford 18 17
Chevrolet 13 14
Toyota 12 16
Honda 10 9
Nissan 4 3
Dodge 3 4
Buick 3 2
Hyundai 3 2
Chrysler 2 2
BMW 2 2

Honda and Toyota owners are a loyal bunch, but those brands face a challenge in attracting new customers. The other takeaway is that Chrysler Group will need to rally to increase market share. Combined, Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep figures for the likelihood to purchase add up to just 7 percent--about half that for Chevrolet alone.

See the 2011 Car Brand Perception Survey for further findings.

For that annual survey, the Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a random, nationwide telephone survey Dec. 2-6, 2010, contacting 2,019 adults. The Center collected the survey data from 1,721 adults in households that had at least one car.

Jeff Bartlett and Andrew Vogel

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