January 9, 2002


Study says GM and Ford owners most loyal to their brands

Detroit, Michigan – The winners of the sixth annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards were announced at the 2002 North American International Auto Show, with General Motors and Ford Division retaining their status as the manufacturers with the highest Overall Manufacturer Loyalty and Overall Make Loyalty, respectively. The study was conducted in the United States.

The Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards recognize manufacturers for superior owner loyalty performance. 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 or make.

Ford Motor Company’s Ford Division captured its sixth consecutive award within the Overall Make Loyalty Award category. General Motors won in the Overall Manufacturer Loyalty category for the second straight year. Other automotive makes capturing a Polk Automotive Loyalty Award for the 2001 model year were: Subaru (2), DaimlerChrysler (1), Porsche (1) and Lexus (1).

“The Polk Loyalty Award recognizes automotive manufacturers that retain their customers most successfully over the course of a model year,” said Stephen R. Polk, chairman, president and CEO of R. L. Polk & Co. “Repeat customers are the foundation of success in any marketplace, especially the highly competitive automotive industry. Loyalty measures how effective automotive OEMs are at ensuring that their customers come back.”

Research by R. L. Polk & Co. showed that Overall Industry Manufacturer, Make and Model loyalty rates remained stable during the 2001 model year, each with less than a half of a percentage point change from the 2000 model year. Specifically, more than half (53.8%) of the households returning to market during the 2001 model year acquired a vehicle from the same manufacturer, two in five (43.0%) acquired the same make, and nearly one in five (19.6%) acquired the same model.

General Motors outperformed the industry average by more than eleven percentage points, with nearly two-thirds of its owners that returned to market during the 2001 model year repurchasing another GM vehicle. Not only did GM outperform the industry, its Manufacturer Loyalty Rate was up slightly over the 2000 model year.

“Expanded incentive offerings by GM, including special rebates and an early turn-in lease program during the 2001 model year, helped increase GM’s manufacturer loyalty rate,” said Melissa Mullen, manager & industry consultant of loyalty for R. L. Polk & Co.

In terms of vehicle segment Loyalty Awards, there were seven repeat winners out of the 12 categories. While domestic manufacturers have traditionally dominated the Loyalty Award categories, this year import manufacturers captured four of the 12 segment level awards. In addition, for the first time in the history of the Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards, an import manufacturer captured more than one award during the same model year. Subaru won in two categories: the Forester, a repeat winner in the Compact Sport Utility Vehicle category; and the Legacy, winner of the Mid-Size Car segment award.

Detailed information can be found at the company’s web-site, www.Polk.com.Detroit, Michigan – The winners of the sixth annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards were announced at the 2002 North American International Auto Show, with General Motors and Ford Division retaining their status as the manufacturers with the highest Overall Manufacturer Loyalty and Overall Make Loyalty, respectively. The study was conducted in the United States.

The Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards recognize manufacturers for superior owner loyalty performance. 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 or make.

Ford Motor Company’s Ford Division captured its sixth consecutive award within the Overall Make Loyalty Award category. General Motors won in the Overall Manufacturer Loyalty category for the second straight year. Other automotive makes capturing a Polk Automotive Loyalty Award for the 2001 model year were: Subaru (2), DaimlerChrysler (1), Porsche (1) and Lexus (1).

“The Polk Loyalty Award recognizes automotive manufacturers that retain their customers most successfully over the course of a model year,” said Stephen R. Polk, chairman, president and CEO of R. L. Polk & Co. “Repeat customers are the foundation of success in any marketplace, especially the highly competitive automotive industry. Loyalty measures how effective automotive OEMs are at ensuring that their customers come back.”

Research by R. L. Polk & Co. showed that Overall Industry Manufacturer, Make and Model loyalty rates remained stable during the 2001 model year, each with less than a half of a percentage point change from the 2000 model year. Specifically, more than half (53.8%) of the households returning to market during the 2001 model year acquired a vehicle from the same manufacturer, two in five (43.0%) acquired the same make, and nearly one in five (19.6%) acquired the same model.

General Motors outperformed the industry average by more than eleven percentage points, with nearly two-thirds of its owners that returned to market during the 2001 model year repurchasing another GM vehicle. Not only did GM outperform the industry, its Manufacturer Loyalty Rate was up slightly over the 2000 model year.

“Expanded incentive offerings by GM, including special rebates and an early turn-in lease program during the 2001 model year, helped increase GM’s manufacturer loyalty rate,” said Melissa Mullen, manager & industry consultant of loyalty for R. L. Polk & Co.

In terms of vehicle segment Loyalty Awards, there were seven repeat winners out of the 12 categories. While domestic manufacturers have traditionally dominated the Loyalty Award categories, this year import manufacturers captured four of the 12 segment level awards. In addition, for the first time in the history of the Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards, an import manufacturer captured more than one award during the same model year. Subaru won in two categories: the Forester, a repeat winner in the Compact Sport Utility Vehicle category; and the Legacy, winner of the Mid-Size Car segment award.

Detailed information can be found at the company’s web-site, www.Polk.com.

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