August 13, 2002

GM and Ford retain owner loyalty rankings

Detroit, Michigan – According to R. L. Polk & Co.’s mid-year Polk Automotive Loyalty Award rankings, General Motors Corporation remains the leader in overall manufacturer loyalty through the first half of the 2002 model year (October 2001 – March 2002), while Ford Motor Company’s Ford Division retains its lead in the overall make category.

The survey reports that 11 of the 14 mid-year leaders retained their ranking from 2001, but new leaders have emerged in three categories:

  • Threatening two-time winner Subaru Forester, the Honda CRV emerged as mid-year leader in the compact SUV segment, eleven percentage points higher than the overall category average.
  • The Buick Century, winner in the mid-size car segment from 1998 through 2000 model years, has recaptured its lead. So far, the Century’s loyalty rate is 10 percentage points higher than the segment average.
  • The Cadillac Escalade leads the full-size SUV segment with a seven percent lead over the second ranked Chevrolet Suburban, the winner of the Polk Automotive Loyalty Award in this segment for the past two model years.
  • “Various incentive and extended warranty programs offered by manufacturers during the last half of 2002 will play a key role in determining the final winners of the 2002 Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards to be presented in January,” said Melissa Mullen, manager and industry consultant of loyalty at R. L. Polk & Co.

Just over half of the mid-year leaders in the 12 model segments in 2001 won the award when the model year ended.

2002 Model Year: Mid-Year Loyalty Rankings

October 2001 – March 2002

Manufacturer Loyalty General Motors* 68.5% 54.6%
Make Loyalty Ford Division* 56.8% 43.6%
Small Car Ford Focus* 22.2% 14.9%
Midsize Car Buick Century 29.4% 19.1%
Large Car Buick LeSabre* 39.2% 25.3%
Luxury Car Cadillac DeVille* 39.7% 19.0%
Prestige Luxury Car Lexus LS 430* 25.8% 17.0%
Sports Car Porsche 911* 25.2% 12.1%
Minivan Chrysler Town & Country* 28.3% 16.2%
Compact Pickup Truck Ford Ranger* 19.7% 15.6%
Fullsize Pickup Truck Ford F-Series* 39.6% 34.8%
Compact SUV Honda CRV 26.0% 15.0%
Regular SUV Mercury Mountaineer* 29.9% 18.4%
Fullsize SUV Cadillac Escalade 33.6% 17.7%

* 2001 Polk Automotive Loyalty Award Winner

The Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards, presented annually at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, recognize manufacturers for owner loyalty performance during each model year. Loyalty is determined when a household that owns a new vehicle returns to market and purchases or leases another new vehicle of the same model, make or manufacturer.

R. L. Polk & Co.’s 2002 Automotive Loyalty Awards ceremony will take place on Jan. 5, 2003 at Cobo Center during the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Connect with