Chicago Automobile Trade Association

GM takes top in Polk's overall loyalty category for 4th straight year

November 22, 2010
BMW of North America, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Subaru of America and Volkswagen of America took loyalty honors for the 2003 model year, which ended Sept. 30, 2003, in January's announcement of the eighth annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards. Overall make and model level loyalty rates increased by about one percentage point in 2003, while manufacturer loyalty increased by a halfpercentage point, Polk reported. R. L. Polk & Co. tracks consumer loyalty among owners of new vehicles "In a time of intense competition within the automotive industry, manufacturers are doing a good job of retaining their current customer base, which significantly contributes to their bottom line," said Stephen R. Polk, president and CEO of R. L. Polk & Co. General Motors won in the Overall Manufacturer loyalty category for the fourth consecutive year. Ford Division won in the Overall Make loyalty category for the eighth straight year. In addition, four of Ford Division's models won in the segment-level categories and five vehicles from Ford's sister divisions, Mercury and Lincoln, also won segmentlevel awards. "Ford Motor Co. was very successful in 2003 in terms of retaining its customers, and this success is reflected in Ford winning multiple loyalty awards," Polk said. "New vehicle designs and improvements for the Expedition, Grand Marquis, Town Car and Navigator, as well as solid incentives on all winning Ford Motor Company vehicles helped secure this strong presence." Many new leaders Unlike previous model years, in 2003 there were just five repeat winners from 2002 within the segment level categories. New vehicle winners emerged within all segments except the Small Car, Minivan, Compact Pickup, Full-Size Pickup, and Midsize SUV categories. Across the new segment level winners, four had won prior to 2002, including the Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car, BMW 7 Series, and the Subaru Forester. "Strong players in each of these categories have reemerged at the top of the rankings," said Polk's Melissa Mullen- Travers. "Once a model ranks highest, ongoing efforts must be made to remain at the top of the list, like pricing strategies and product enhancements, to name a few." To reflect the new-car marketplace expansion, two new segment categories were added to Polk's awards for 2003: Prestige Sports Car and Prestige SUV. Within the Prestige Sports Car segment, Dodge Viper owners displayed the highest model loyalty rate. The Viper was completely redesigned for 2003, offering customers improved features and an updated look. Polk research shows consistent improvement in loyalty rates following an existing model's redesign. The Lincoln Navigator captured the Prestige SUV category. The Navigator also had a redesign for the 2003 model year, as well as numerous financial incentives.


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