Irvine, California – Brand loyalty for Hyundai has surpassed that of Honda and Toyota, taking the number one spot among car shoppers, according to Kelley Blue Book. In addition, Hyundai values have been outperforming the car segment average.

When comparing February 2010 data to the fourth quarter of 2009, Hyundai saw the greatest increase in loyalty, with Hyundai owners looking at new models within the brand increasing by 10.4 percentage points, to 56.3 per cent. The company was in third place in the fourth quarter of 2009.

In the same period, Toyota fell from number one to third place, while Honda held steady at second place. A lower percentage of Toyota owners are looking at new models within the brand, down 4.4 per cent to 53.3 per cent. Honda owners looking at new models within the brand increased by 0.7 percentage points, to 55.8 per cent.

“Hyundai is clearly benefiting from a perfect storm,” said James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s, “a result of introducing passionate new products like the 2011 Sonata and 2010 Tucson, while Honda’s mainstream vehicles like the CR-V and Accord are a bit stale in the marketplace and Toyota is experiencing a huge consumer perception crisis. To sustain this momentum, Hyundai should continue to promote its attractive new-vehicle lineup, solid warranty offer and strong price points to new-car shoppers. Hyundai’s main challenge in the near future will likely come from domestic automakers like Ford and GM, as they gear up for battle over buyers starting to look for a change from Camry-land.”

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