Westlake Village, California – One in three people who switched brands when buying a new car said their previous brand didn’t make the type of vehicle they wanted, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates.

Other reasons for dissatisfaction with a previous vehicle included high prices to own or maintain the vehicle, too many problems with it, or insufficient resale value.

“Many automotive brands are expanding their array of models in an attempt to capture more buyers, but this isn’t enough in and of itself,” said Raffi Festekjian, director of automotive product research. “Manufacturers need to integrate specific attributes and features that delight vehicle owners to maximize their opportunity to both retain customers and conquest from other brands. Manufacturers also need to ensure owners are satisfied with the quality, residual values and ownership costs of their vehicles.”

Hyundai ranked highest in retaining customers when they buy a new vehicle, and improved its retention rate by four percentage points from 2010 to 64 per cent in 2012. The retention rate is primarily driven by the Elantra and Sonata.

In a tie for second place were Ford and Honda, with a retention rate of 60 per cent. Jeep posted the greatest improvement rate, improving by 17 percentage points to 51 per cent.

Overall, women and buyers between the ages of 23 and 47 are less likely to choose the same vehicle brand for their next purchase, when compared with men and older owners. Festekjian said this is because they are more likely to experience changes in their life circumstances, including growth in household size or changes in income levels, which would lead them to purchase vehicles for their new lifestyle. Brands that perform particularly well in retaining female customers include Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Mercedes-Benz, while those that best retain younger buyers include Ford, Kia, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz.

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