Detroit Three Surpass Japanese Automakers in Customer Loyalty image

According to researcher Experian Automotive, Ford and GM surpass Toyota in customer loyalty.

Experian Automotive’s research was based on Ford customers who returned to purchase another vehicle during the fourth quarter. The study shows that 47.9% of them purchased a Ford or Lincoln. GM has a loyalty rate of 47.7%, followed by Toyota with 46.9%.

It’s been decades since Ford, Chrysler and GM have been losing customers to Japanese automakers such as Honda and Toyota, but now they are luring back buyers with attractive models such as the Ford sedan. Researcher LMC Automotive forecasts that in 2014 the US automaker’s share of the small and mid-size auto market in the States will increase to 33%, from 26% in 2009.

“Ford has developed extremely loyal customers across a wide range of vehicles,” Jeffrey Anderson, director of consulting and analytics for Experian Automotive, said in a statement. “Customer loyalty will always be a very important barometer of automotive sales success.”

From the top 10 individual models by loyalty, Ford has 8 of them, with the Fusion on the top of the list. The study shows that 60% Fusion owners returned to buy another vehicle made by Ford. The other two model in top 10 were Kia’s Forte sedan and GM’s Chevrolet Sonic small car.