US: long-term ownership leads to decreased loyalty image

According to an Experian Automotive study, owners keeping vehicles longer are increasingly less likely to buy from that brand when they finally change the car.

For example, Dodge vehicle owners tend to keep their car longer than Ford buyers – but in turn the latter tops all other automakers when it comes to brand loyalty. Experian, a Chicago-area data analysis company, has conducted research that found consumers who keep their vehicles  for just 12 months are 57% likely to go for the same brand when purchasing the next model. At the other end of the spectrum, those who kept their vehicles for 12 years only hit a 34% return to the brand. According to the study, the critical point is at 36 months of ownership, when brand loyalty fell almost 10%.

Brad Smith, director of automotive market statistics for Experian Automotive, said in a statement that when it comes to short leases, the financial product – with its fixed-length ownership cycle – is usually a big asset for brand loyalty. Smith says that things change over time because of several factors: the brand’s line-up has time to evolve and the same happens to the consumer’s budget or credit score. Following Ford, Subaru had the second-biggest loyalty rating among the US automotive brands – a fact also supported by the incredible sales demand for the Japanese automaker’s line-up. Subaru has had double-digit increases in sales for months now and it’s ready to end the year with a record.

Via Automotive News