By on August 20, 2014

2014 Scion tC Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Honda, Ford and Toyota all have one thing in common as far as Kelley Blue Book knows: All three inspire brand loyalty among over half of its customer base. Alas, nine other brands wish they could be just as inspirational.

In its study of KBB data from 33 brands regarding customer loyalty, 24/7 Wall St. says the following nine brands are likely to see their customers jump ship to another brand come trade-in or lease time:

  • Mitsubishi: 21.77 percent average
  • Chrysler: 22.72 percent average
  • Dodge: 22.88 percent average
  • Jaguar: 25.45 percent average
  • Scion: 25.79 percent average
  • Lincoln: 27.49 percent average
  • Infiniti: 28.25 percent average
  • Volvo: 29.41 percent average
  • Buick: 29.45 percent average

The study notes the brands with the highest loyalty averages also move the most units off the lot, while low-loyalty brands have sales to match; six of the nine listed sold less than 100,000 units during H1 2014.

As for what inspires loyalty in the first place, KBB senior manager of marketing intelligence Arthur Henry says price and reliability play the most important roles in whether a customer will stick with a brand. However, luxury makes like Jaguar, Infiniti and Buick suffer not from perceptions of poor reliability, but fierce competition from within the U.S. luxury market.

That said, Arthur notes customers can switch loyalties no matter how a brand is perceived, citing economic conditions and changing consumer preferences as factors in switching.

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191 Comments on “Study: Nine Brands Suffer Loyalty Issues Among Their Customers...”


  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Scion makes sense since they only sell entry level cars. I’d like to know how many Scion owners follow it up with a Toyota/Lexus.

    Mitsu also makes sense for similar reasons and since a lot of folks get into Mitsubishis to get their credit up and eventually into something better (or am I dreaming?).

    Volvo and Jag are… not well known for reliability and apparently prove it to their owners. Which makes me curious about Land Rover owners. I bet they are loyal beyond reason.

    I don’t really get Infiniti and Buick. Unless people see them as starter luxury cars and move on to the major luxury cars next.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      Buick owners next ride is most likely to be a Hearse.

      • 0 avatar

        Nope. There was an article on TTAC not that long ago showing that Buick had seen a considerable drop in average buyer age and now has among the lowest in the business. Yes perceptions die hard.

        • 0 avatar
          DevilsRotary86

          The joke is no longer true, but it’s still funny.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          Buick has a pretty cool multi-page magazine ad about the “blue haired” driver in today’s Buick. A Google image search of Buick blue hair ad finds it. WITHAG wasn’t any help:(

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          Average age of Buick buyers has indeed dropped but it’s still well above the industry average.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            You don’t want it to drop too much or you’ll be in the “Mom’s basement” demographic. Automakers aren’t selling to the young, they don’t have any money. They’re selling to older people who DO have the money to buy. The age of the buyer really doesn’t tell you much about how the car is perceived.

            We’d learn more if surveys could tell us how “youthful” the car line is viewed, but that’s a lot harder to nail down. The survey would involve subjective opinions from young people who can’t afford to buy, and whose wish list of BMW, Mercedes, and Ferrari might be a little impractical.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          Here it is, Buick still has the oldest buyers, non-luxury. I believe only Lincoln is higher at 61:

          “Buick, with an average buyer age of 60.3, has the oldest average buyer among 22 nonluxury brands included in the report. The GM brand, which has made a push to attract younger consumers recently with commercials featuring NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, is the only nonluxury brand with an average new-vehicle buyer age 60 or older in 2013 and 2011.

          The Buick buyer’s average age was unchanged from 2011 to 2013.”
          http://www.autonews.com/article/20140505/RETAIL03/140509907/dodge-land-rover-lamborghini-draw-youngest-new-vehicle-buyers-ihs

        • 0 avatar
          LectroByte

          Considerable drop? Well, 57 is less than 66, but far from “among the lowest in the business”.

          http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2013/03/30/buick-lowers-average-age-of-buyer-but-its-higher-than-norm.html

          In 2006, Buick buyers on average had celebrated 66 birthdays. Last year the number was 57, the company said.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Dynaride down to the funeral parlor.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Hey! 29 years young Buick owners DO exist!

          That said, I highly doubt Buick’s limited line-up will appeal when next car purchase rolls around. That could be part of it.

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          Hey! I own a Buick with Dynaride, and I ain’t dead yet!

          I do like my Buick, though. I’d own another in a heartbeat.

          But, mine is a 1995. General Motors makes absolutely nothing on my ownership.

          I don’t like the new Buicks, though. Give me the Park Avenue (Yes, they still make it… in China).

          • 0 avatar

            Park Avenue? AKA Caprice PPV?

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            @Kyree They badge engineered it!?

            But, does the Wyoming Highway Patrol order theirs with leather, dynaride, rear seats that are actually comfortable, without a cage, and without push bumpers?

            If so, I’ll take this leather Caprice.

            ———————–

            I know Buick won’t sell cars if they listened to my philosophy, but here it is:

            I own and drive a 1995 LeSabre. I like it a lot. It’s fairly large, floats while driving, and is more comfortable than my couch. That’s what a Buick needs to be. If I wanted German precision, I’d have an Audi. In fact, I do have one. It’s a nice car, but Buick shouldn’t mimic it. They should make me a big barge that drives like a sofa. I’d buy one. Well, in 10 years, once the value has depreciated, of course ;-)

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          Age 61 to the funeral parlor? Look up the actuarial tables. That person might have more years left than you’ve been alive.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Here is an update from last year.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewdepaula/2013/03/31/2014-buick-regal-enhanced-to-continuing-drawing-younger-buyers/

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        You’re thinking of Lincoln, which explains it’s numbers.

      • 0 avatar
        Firestorm 500

        From a Buick into a hearse?

        The final step up. Into a Cadillac at last.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Agree about Scion.

      I was surprised at first to see Infiniti, but then I remembered how big SUVs have become as a part of every maker’s sales mix. The Mississippi-built, Armada-based SUV from Infiniti has been a reliability disaster, which can’t be helping.

      As for Lincoln, I’d bet most buyers in recent years bought Town Cars. There’s nothing in the current lineup for them (except maybe for that hearse).

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        I agree with the Lincoln comment. The brand is in the middle of a transformation, so they get a pass on owner loyalty for now. They obviously don’t want to be at the bottom of the list in 5 years.

        For me, the two big surprises are Volvo and Jeep. Volvo because they should be much better at renewing leases, and Jeep because I thought they would make the bottom 10. Not that there’s anything wrong with the product, just that a lot of people want to own a Jeep at least once.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          As for Jeep, the Wrangler is generally a once-and-done purchase. Not many people are going to decide they want a newer one in three years. The rest of the lineup is generic S/CUV and doesn’t offer anything in particular versus the other offerings in those segments.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            That’s true about the Jeep Wrangler. I know several (old) people who purchased their Wrangler years ago, hell even decades ago, and are still using them daily.

            But as for my brand loyalty to Fiatsler, we’ll be trading our 2012 Grand Cherokee in on a 2015 Sequoia.

            For me, I prefer the security and satisfaction of being an All-Toyota family, in the future.

            There is something comforting about that and it beats the daily drama that is GM or the insecurity instilled over decades of Fix Or Repair Daily and Found On Road Dead.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            They say the same about the Porsche 911.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      You’re absolutely right about Mitsubishi. It was a “get me done” car for people who couldn’t get credit from better brands. And they’ve never recovered from the “0-0-0” disaster.

      I think Infiniti and Buick are all about the lease. If someone else has a more competitive deal after 36-42 month, that’s where the customer will go.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      Buick buyers move on to Cadillac’s and Lincoln’s.

      I have a few retired relatives see this all the time. There was a time when owning a Cadillac was the pinnacle of success and these folks still live like it’s the 50’s and 60’s when this was the norm. The younger generations view Cadillac, Lincoln (and Buick) as old persons cars, but to the older gen, owning a Caddy (Or a Lincoln) meant “you’ve arrived”.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        The Escalade is truely the car for America, it’s loved by nearly every demographic. Old, young, black, white, male, female, old money, new money, etc.

        Buick though is still stale. Sure there are now more 50 somethings cruising around in Enclaves, but lots of octogenarians in 90s and 00s sleds still loitering in the left lane 20 mph under the limit.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Where can I register to not love it? I like GMT900 in general, especially when the Active Fuel Management actually works, but I see Escalade as yet another reason Cadillac went astray. They were still relatively new when I got a close look at the first model year (I think ’00) and it did not impress. I thought gee that’s a nice Yukon.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      Yeah, a lot of these brands are feeder brands, toyota wants scion owners to move up to a regular Toyots for their next car, not buy another $17K entry level vehicle. To a lesser extent Buick could feed Cadillac. I’m more curious about the Fiatsler brands though, are people moving between dodge and Chrysler or are they running away entirely?

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Having a complete model lineup would help in this survey as they are measuring return customers to the brand as a whole, not to the model. Someone who bought a Jag then wants an SUV has no choice but to go to another brand.

    The real comparison is mainstream brands to mainstream brands where each has an alternative to the other.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That’s right. And someone who has a Mitsubishi and wants a good car has to go to another brand as well.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Exactly. Scion basically has nothing for their buyers to grow into either, but I guess that’s not really the point of Scion anyway. Scion buyers are supposed to move into Toyotas. Whether that be a Corolla, Camry or Highlander for their younger customers or an Avalon for their demo that’s just-barely geriatric.

  • avatar

    Talking to a Fiat suit once he mentioned that people are less and less loyal as time goes on. This is due to a variety of factors, many of them sociological and cultural in nature, and that less and less fidelity is to be expected. He said that over 20 years ago 90 percent would repeat a brand if they perceived the car as flawless, 10 years ago that number was in the 80 percent bracket and nowadays is heading to 70 percent.

    So absolute reliability (EDIT: as the most important determinant in a purchase choice) is in fact going down. Most people perceive cars nowadays as reliable enough.

    One of the most important factors that keep customers the suit pointed out to me is aftersales. When a car does have a problem, and it is solved in a way that make the customers happy, the keep rate grows exponentially. BTW, for Japanese car fans, he said Japanese companies get this (EDIT: the aftersales support factor) while others struggle.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “So absolute reliability is in fact going down.”

      How did you correlate this from what the Fiat man said?

      • 0 avatar

        He was talking about the auto industry as a whole. How most consider cars in general pretty reliable and that the percentage of people who repeat a brand because their car was perfect is going down.

        You probably know people who only buy GM, VW, Toyota or whatever and had 10 beige Camries one after the other. Families that said, “we are a Ford family”. This kind of thing is fast disappearing.

        The American market is in many ways exceptional, and he may have been talking more of Brazil and Europe than the US, but this seems a general trend.

        I have had 12 cars over 24 years of driving. From Fiat in the beginning, lately more Renault with a sprinkling of Fords throughout. The buying of Renault was already me straying from Fiat (who have never done me wrong, quite the opposite), and for my next purchase, horror of horrors I find myself imagining a GM, VW or even a Nissan!

        So what he said made sense because it is exactly my experience. 20 years ago I was a repeat buyer, 10 years ago I started looking elsewhere, this time around I’ll probably buy something completely out of my usual. Reliability has not been a factor in my decisions. I expected the the cars to do well and perform they did. My Renault Logan was bought brand new 6 years ago and is going strong. Logically I should buy another one, specially as the new one is very different from the old. Somehow, the idea seems less and less appealing.

        That was what the suit was talking about.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Did you mean to say reliability then (perhaps consumer reliability)? Consumer fickleness is increasing, as well as the options available to them (in general) with this “car for any niche” thing that makers are getting into with the modular architecture.

          Absolute reliabilty is the same (very recently) or higher than it’s ever been before.

      • 0 avatar

        Sorry Corey I edited my original comment to make it clear. He didn’t say absolute reliability is going down, what he did say was that absolute reliability is not as important a factor for consumers in the choices they make as it was years ago.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Ah ha! Got it now.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Many buyers are more cautious. The “buy what dad bought” mentality is dying. The last few vehicles my wife and I purchased started with researching dependability data.
            We got burned with a Dodge Grand Caravan and the attitude that “new cars have gotten much more reliable”.

            Will I buy a product from FCA again?

            Only if several sources say they have been the most reliable for a few years in a row.

            We’ve been very happy with our F150 and Sienna but I’m not going to automatically replace them with products from the same company if data says there are better products out their.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      If I had an employee saying something like that, and it wasn’t followed by a big rant on why that was not going to be the trend with our company, I would be eyeing his situation very closely.

      As a customer, I hear something like that and realize the company is sick.

      It may be true. It doesn’t matter. If you go to work thinking your efforts won’t improve outcomes because of some societal trend, then you might as well stay home.

      • 0 avatar

        Sorry and thanks Landcrusher. I edited my comment as your comment made me re-read it and realize I wasn’t clear. What I was trying to say is that the Fiat exec was talking about how absolute reliability is not an overwhelmingly important factor in determining a repeat purchase as it was some years ago. Cars nowadays are more reliable than ever and companies strive to improve that every single day. But it has by now become something to be expected, so it doesn’t influence repeat sales that muck. Kind of like what happened to Volvo as nowadays all cars are perceived as safe, safety becomes less of a dominant factor for sales.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          Ah. No worries.

          I’m not sure I would necessarily agree. Certainly, failure to have a bad experience is no longer going to sell the next car. OTOH, every bad maintenance experience is a really good chance to lose a customer. BMW isn’t selling me a car anytime soon. It took 25 years for me to forgive GM and about 25 minutes of interfacing with demographic pricing schemes to realize I had not made a mistake.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Marcelo de Vasconcellos – as you have pointed out, after sales service is a huge factor.
          That was another weak point for Dodge in our town. Their service sucked. I also didn’t like most of the sales staff I dealt with.

          I used to always buy Yamaha motorcycles due to the fact that the local dealer had the best service desk and parts counter.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’ve changed brands often. Sometimes it’s due to lousy reliability (VW, Honda), but often it’s due to seeking a different set of features in the next vehicle.

      Here’s my history over 34 years, but some of them were simultaneously owned, with overlap to the next brand. I haven’t had an American nameplate in 5 years.

      Ford
      Fiat
      Ford
      Mercury
      Ford
      Chrysler
      Dodge
      Plymouth
      VW
      Honda
      Scion
      Dodge
      Hyundai
      Kia
      Nissan
      Kia

      • 0 avatar

        As evidenced by your Leaf, you are an early adopter and a guy who does things first while the rest of us catch up later. You were a man of the future before the future came!

        In all seriousness, as time goes on more and more buyers will behave like you. Brand loyalty is on the way out.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I like this game.

        Audi
        Audi
        Infiniti
        Audi
        Lexus
        Subaru (simultaneous to Lexus)
        Infiniti

        • 0 avatar

          Me, too:

          Fiat
          Fiat
          Fiat
          Ford
          Fiat
          Ford
          Renault
          Fiat
          Fiat
          Ford
          Renault
          Ford

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            GMC
            Pontiac
            Mazda
            Pontiac
            Oldsmobile/GMC
            Buick

          • 0 avatar
            tankinbeans

            I like this game too:

            Ford
            Ford
            Buick
            Honda
            Honda
            Pontiac
            Kia
            Chevrolet/Ford/Chevrolet – All three concurrently
            Buick – Concurrent with the last Ford and one of the Chevrolets
            Ford

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          So I guess we’re doing this now.

          Never titled to me personally but driven/owned by me for a period of time:

          MY87 Dodge Shadow (grey/grey)
          MY92 Subaru Loyale (white/blue)
          MY00 Ford Taurus (blue/grey)

          Bought by/titled to me and kept over a long period of time:
          (1999-2005)
          MY92 Chevrolet Cavalier coupe (black/black cloth)
          MY02 Pontiac Grand Am SE1 (black/black cloth)
          MY85 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (white/black leather)
          MY89 Cadillac Deville (burgandy/tan leather)

          (2005-present)
          MY98 Saturn SL2 (white/tan cloth)
          MY90 Audi 100 (teal green/grey cloth)
          MY90 Lincoln Town Car Signature (cream/brown two tone/tan carriage roof/cream leather)
          MY08 Pontiac Grand Prix GT (black/black leather)
          MY93 Volvo 240 (white/blue cloth)
          MY02 Saturn SL2 (gold/tan cloth)

          Short term ownership during the auction years, never titled to me personally:

          MY86 Toyota Cressida (faded burgandy)
          MY92 Lexus LS400 (black)
          MY02 Lexus ES300 (black/silver two tone)
          MY88 Cadillac Eldorado (burgandy)
          MY89 Cadillac Deville (white/grey two tone)
          MY91 Cadillac Deville (white/blue carriage roof)
          MY91 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (silver/grey half roof/opera lamp)
          MY89 Lincoln Town Car Cartier (silver/grey half roof)
          MY95 Buick Riviera (teal green)
          MY93 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible (green/beige roof)
          MY95 Oldsmobile Eighty Eight Royale (off dark green)
          MY97 Buick Lesabre (white/black leather)
          MY00 BMW Z3 Convertible (silver/black roof)
          MY81 Chevrolet Corvette (fire engine red)
          MY97 Honda Civic (white)
          MY95 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 (burgandy)
          MY94 Jeep Grand Cherokee I6 (white)
          MY94 Ford Explorer V6 (purple)
          MY02 Chevrolet Trailblazer (dark blue)

          I think that’s all of them.

          Additional: Jay gave me a MY97 LHS (all black) to drive over a weekend once. Pretty car I really liked the look of it, but it was high miles (140+), the motor felt weak, and its suspension was shot. I also remembered I had a low mile’d MY00 Concorde (gold/tan) over a weekend as well, and it was one quick big ass ride. There were also some N-body Chevys and Buicks I forgot about because they were me’h.

          Additional 2: There were some other trucks I ran around more than once but they all run together in my head because they were all so forgettable. 80s/90s Blazers, C/Ks, S10s, Rangers, almost always beat, I never kept these ones as personal drivers. No Dodge trucks though, strangely. Although there was the epic MY89 Diplomat I more or less refused to drive, because I thought at the time, F-that-noise (claimed 20K on the odo, prob TMU). Some kid right out of the Army walked away with it for maybe $1200 at the time. He never came back so I assume the Dippy worked out reasonably well for him, at least in the beginning.

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            @28-Cars-Later: You win. I give you one free Internet. Though, I think you should have to change your name to 30-Cars-Later to claim it. ;-)

            Who gets rid of a 1995 Riviera or a 1995 Oldsmobile 88? Shakes head…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Both of those were dealer-owner cars so I had little say in their fates, I simply drove them as a perk and took care of them until told otherwise. We eventually retailed the Olds because it had no miles (like 40K in 2005) and that particular Riv at least is a sore spot for me. We bought it I think for 28 or 2900 right off the block (68K) and I saw it for the first time on our lot. It sat for awhile, and eventually I weaseled my way into it. Being in college and making what amounted to very little money, I wanted to buy it outright but that never happened. I had it for a few weeks and then I was told to take it to BAA in Cranberry to see what it did. I watched it sell for 31 bucks + sellers fees in disgust. Of the dealer cars, my four favs were the teal green Riv, the LS400, the Lebaron Conv, and the Cressida. I would buy all four today if I could (honorable mention to the sick 91 Coupe de Ville. Higher miles at the time (100Kish) but otherwise pristine and 100% “Cadillac” luxury).

            I wonder what I can get for my Internet token?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            My list is pretty short and price often was my final determinant:

            1…1984 Ford Ranger (new)(kept 6 years)
            2…1990 Ford F250 (new) (kept 15 years)
            3…2001 Dodge Grand Caravan (new)(wife)(kept 7 years) (still have wife ;)
            4…1994 Ford Ranger (used)(kept 3 years)
            5…1999 GMC Safari (used)(kept 2 years)
            6…2010 Toyota Sienna (new) (wife)
            7…2010 Ford F150

            I still have a 1968 Ford Galaxie 500 2 door that my parents handed down to me.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Lessee…

        Chevy
        Nissan
        Isuzu
        Hyundai
        Nissan
        GMC
        Honda
        smart
        Hyundai
        Dodge
        Nissan
        Nissan

        • 0 avatar
          gearhead77

          I’ll play with a change: (wifes car):

          Buick
          Cadillac
          Acura
          Mercury
          Acura
          Hyundai
          Ford (Subaru)
          Mitsubishi(Honda)
          Volkswagen(Honda)
          Pontiac(Mazda)
          Nissan(Mazda)
          Mazda(Honda)

          Most were used, some were new, all fit what I(we) needed/wanted at the time.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        Okay I’m in

        Ford
        Chevy
        Austin Healey
        MG
        VW
        Triumph
        Austin Healey
        MG
        Austin Healey
        VW
        Triumph
        Triumph
        VW
        Lotus
        Ford
        Mitsubishi
        Chevy
        Lotus
        Chevy
        Audi
        Acura

        • 0 avatar
          vwgolf420

          VW
          Toyota
          Mazda
          VW
          Mazda
          Hyundai
          VW

          • 0 avatar
            Brian P

            OK …

            Honda (hand-me-down, got it for free, who’s to argue)
            Toyota
            Toyota
            VW
            VW
            smart (simultaneous with the second VW, still have it)
            Ram a.k.a. Fiatsler

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            Dodge
            Ford
            Buick
            Chevrolet
            Audi
            Ford
            Chevrolet

            I’m more American-car loyal than most people.

            I actually own all of these right now. Too many cars. So little time…

            My next truck will be a Chevrolet.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          @Fred: Are you in the US? That number of British brands either means you’re in the UK, or a glutton for punishment, or both. :)

          No Jaguars or Rolls-Royces?

          My friend currently has 2 GMs and 2 MGs (all daily drivers), so I abuse him from time to time.

          • 0 avatar
            Fred

            USA! They were all old and tired when I got them so reliability wasn’t expected. I was also young so push starting a Sprite while delivering Chinese food didn’t seem to be a problem.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        For new cars:
        VW
        Saab
        BMW
        Fiat

        My next new car will be either another BMW or a Porsche.
        For used cars I have owned examples of pretty near every non-exotic European brand sold here in the past 30 years, with the exception of Audi. And one Subaru, one Datsun, and one Jeep.

        I have zero loyalty to any brand, I buy what fits my wants and needs at the time. And reliability is not a major concern, with rare exception, every car I have ever owned has been quite reliable. Even my 13yo Range Rover.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Oooh! a memory test. Hope I don’t fail:

        Volvo
        Honda
        Dodge
        Datsun (with Ford power)
        Acura
        Acura
        Subaru
        Subaru
        Lexus

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        Studebaker
        Fiat
        Plymouth
        Dodge
        Chevrolet
        Chevrolet
        VW
        VW
        Ford
        Honda

        Next car will probably be another Honda. I root for Chrysler to succeed, but that’s as far as my brand loyalty goes. I had bad experiences with GM cars and GM dealers and vowed never to return. After two VWs I got the German/Diesel car bug out of my system.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Joe McKinney, re your “bad experiences with GM cars and GM dealers”…..

          at least you lived to tell us about them.

        • 0 avatar
          wstarvingteacher

          I plugged in here because I saw that Joe had a Studebaker listed first. Felt right at home.

          At 71 all the talk about hearses caused me to think. I’m pretty sure that I forgot some but if I counted right there are over 50 with the oldest being a 46 chev. In the 80s they were mostly work trucks but the others were daily drivers. All through the 60s and 70s the limiting factor was Navy pay and what I knew how to fix.The dependability of the seventies models was generally a downer but things picked up in the 2Ks except for the 2002 Saturn Vue.

          My bike list is shorter but was more fun.

          1950s 47 studebaker, 46 chevy

          1960s 53 Ford (X3), 50 Olds, 53 Merc, 66VW, 69 Dodge

          1970s 68 Nova, 69 C10, 61 vw, 67 Chevelle, 64mgb, 64C10, 68 Firebird, 56vw transporter, 77 Olds Starfire, 78 AMC Concord, 7_ Mazda rx2 wagon, 74 Ford Courier, 57 Chevy 210 wagon from 1972 to present.

          1980s 81 Datsun King Cab, 75 Corvette, 82 Olds, 77 Coupe DeVille, 85 Lincoln TC, 86 Lincoln TC, 85 Ford Extended Van, 78 Chevy C30 High cube, 68 C10

          1990s to present: 89 Merc Topaz, 1979 Datsun King Cab, 1987 Hardbody, 1959 C30 school bus, 97 Saturn SL, Y2K Saturn SL, 87 Honda Accord hatch, 77 Impala wagon,64 Merc Marauder, 198_ Saab, 198_ Volvo, 198_ Mazda 626, 87 Nissan hardbody, 2002 Saturn Vue, 2007 Saturn Vue, 1991 Chev S10, 1995 Toyota 4Runner, 2010 Nissan cube, and 2013 Nissan cube.

      • 0 avatar
        alexndr333

        Dad went to GMI for his engineering degree, so I was raised in a GM family. They’ve been reliable in my experience:
        Buick
        Ford (German Capri)
        Toyota (new)
        Chevy
        Chevy
        Chevy
        Mazda
        Pontiac (new)
        Mercedes
        Buick
        Mazda
        Chevy (new)
        Cadillac (new)
        Cadillac (new)
        Cadillac (new)
        Chevy
        Cadillac
        Chevy (new)

      • 0 avatar
        tdavis1338

        Here are mine:

        Dodge
        Buick
        Chevrolet
        Toyota
        Toyota
        Saturn
        Chevrolet
        Nissan
        Nissan

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        Had to To think back kinda far. But here it goes.

        Plymouth
        VW
        Subaru
        VW
        Isuzu
        Volvo
        Honda
        VW
        Saab
        VW
        HyundaiHondaMercuHyundaiHonda
        Dodge
        Jeep
        Hyundai
        Hyundai
        Mercury
        Hyundai
        Know i misssd a couple. Dementia is setting in.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Ford
        Jeep
        Honda
        Toyota
        Mazda
        BMW
        BMW

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      A good example of after-the-sale support making for a happy customer was my former boss and his Honda Odyssey. The actual vehicle reliability was mixed at best due to automatic transmission problems, but Honda threw money at dealers to fix problems. Because my former boss was shielded from the cost and much of the inconvenience of repairs, he’d buy another car from that Honda dealer. He once remarked that he wished he could take his other car to that dealer too.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Since 1968 I’ve owned 28 cars:

      5 each Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge
      3 each Jeep and Buick
      1 each BMW, Kia, Mazda, Pontiac, Porsche and Scion

      I don’t consider myself brand loyal because, quite frankly, it’d bore me to death to spend decades driving one brand over and over and over.

      A lot of my experiences has to do with the dealer: The Dodges covered me thru the 80’s and 90’s because the dealer took care of me very well – unfortunately, I moved to another state, and then he lost the franchise in the bankruptcy.

      I’m currently rather warm on Kia because the local dealership has treated my fiancee very well with hers, and I bought one of my own. Getting the same treatment.

      I can only think of one car in that time period that was so bad it put me off a brand. It was a late 70’s Chevrolet. Surprise, surprise. Took me 25 years to come back, and THAT Chevy was one of the best vehicles I ever owned.

      Some one shots were brands that I’d normally not be able to afford, but the deal and the timing were right: BMW and Porsche. I’ll happily go again, assuming I can get the stars to line up right again.

      Brand loyalty is boring.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        I’m warm on Kia, also, with 2 in my driveway at the moment. But I also agree on how boring brand loyalty can be. That’s why Scion is off my list, not to mention their awful lineup these days, even though my xB1 was wonderful.

        Fiancee? Congratulations on your renewed happiness.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          I’ve already owned 3 cars:

          Toyota disguised as a Chevy
          Buick
          Ford

          In my memory, my mom has owned:

          Ford (Escort wagon, 1984)
          Lincoln (Town Car, 1987)
          Mitsubishi (Mirage, 1999)
          Oldsmobile (Cutlass, forget the year)
          Chevrolet (Malibu Classic, 2005)
          Hyundai (Sonata, 2005)

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Eewww… Found-On-Road-Dead is up there with Honda and Toyota?

    Must be the F-150s.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      I think the face lifted first gen Escape made Ford a lot of friends as well. Honest vehicles they were.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Those Escapes just run and run. I like the facelift Mariner version.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Not so sure about the “run and run” 1st gens have seriously weak transmissions (feel free to google “CD4E”), facelifted ones had the new GM/Ford 6spd, which has some valve body issues (again, google “6f35 escape”). Add to that a recall for subframe rust, and the usual Ford malady of weak ball joints.

          I really liked the utilitarian vibe of these, but the quality just isn’t there IMO.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            You can pretty much google any car and the transmission model number or “problems” and come up with a few complaints.

            the 6F35s are generally pretty good transmissions, especially as far as Ford FWD transmissions go. They have (had) some issues with persistent axle seal leaks, and drive chain noise, but they aren’t particularly problematic.

            The CD4E isn’t as robust, but they aren’t something I avoid like the plague either. Not uncommon to see high mileage ones still in good order.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I would not hesitate to recommend a vehicle with the 6f35, 6f50, or 6f55. Like danio says, there are a few things to look out for, but you can say that with almost any transmission. AWD adds complexity and Ford voodoo, but I wouldn’t shy away from an AWD Ford product either. Just say no to the Ford CVT though.

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            We have a 2010 Mercury Mariner with 103,000 trouble free miles. Transmission dose make some jarring shifts 1st to 2nd a couple times a month. But overall one of the best cars I’ve owned. 2.5L no issues.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        All the Mazda based Fords were pretty decent, especially by Ford’s standards. I know one loyal Ford buyer. She was a Ford Credit executive before the lay-offs, and she gets employee purchase deals for life. Maybe that’s where some of their loyal buyers come from. Another advantage Ford has over GM brands is that if you are happy with the product, there’s nowhere to go. Lincoln is a non-entity. Happy Chevrolet buyers may spring for a GMC, Buick, or Cadillac next time.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          CJinSD, doesn’t Mazda have an assembly plant south of Tijuana these days?

          My #2 son who works at the MCRD told me when I was last there he saw several car transporters head north on I-5 from the San Ysidro entry, loaded with new Mazdas covered in white plastic sheets.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            They may bring them in through San Ysidro, but the plant is in Salamanca, which is just about the center of Mexico.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Thanks CJ, I didn’t know that. Learned something.

            But it also make me wonder why they’re bringing them in on transporters? Why not by rail?

            Don’t lose any sleep over finding the answer because in my area, cars made in Mexico are transported to the Santa Teresa, NM, railroad hub from where they are distributed by rail and by 18-wheelers, throughout the US, and I presume Canada as well.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I don’t know why they were on trucks either. There are holding lots in National City that I’ve seen filled with thousands of recently imported vehicles, but I didn’t notice if they were leaving on trucks or rails. National City is a bit north of San Ysidro too, so it probably has nothing to do with Mazdas on trailers.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            CJ, I’m guessing here but maybe they were on transporters because they were being delivered for “local” sale.

            I have noticed around the El Paso, TX, area, lots of new cars are being delivered by transporters to the local dealerships from the Santa Teresa entry point, even as far north as Las Cruces, NM.

            But the stream of autocarriers on the rails is never-ending past my property along US54, presumably going to all points north, for distribution and sale.

            I remember where National City is, and at one time, many years ago, it was distinctly separate from Chula Vista, where my son used to own some rentals.

            The last time I visited him, it appeared to me that everything in San Diego had grown together into one huge, never-ending, built-up area.

            I remember when Mira Mesa, where my son bought a brand new home years ago, was out in the middle of nowhere, and where Miramar NAS now MCB, where he was last stationed before getting out of the Marines, was a distinct entity.

            Things change! I do know that if he could, my son would leave California and head back to the wide open spaces of New Mexico, like his older brother in Long Beach is doing at the end of this year.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I have a 2014 Fusion. My previous car was a 2002 Focus. Before that it was a 1991 Aerostar. I didn’t set out to drive Fords for 30 years, it’s just that whenever I was getting ready to buy a car, Ford had just what I want.

      On the rare occasion where I go car shopping, the first three brands I look at VW, Mazda, and Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      TheyBeRollin

      They beat everyone on loyalty… People that wonder never owned one or only owned a “we give up” Taurus.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    How well the dealer lives up to its sales promises play a role. The dealership where I bought my car has a sign out front, next to a potted plat, that says, “This costs more to maintain than a BMW.” The sales guys made a big deal out of the fact that I’d only have to pay for gas and insurance. Except, as it turns out, wheels bend and bushings crack when you drive the car on normal roads and don’t hit anything, and those aren’t covered. And they’re expensive to fix. Everyone’s nice about it, but I’m still out a few hundred bucks here and there.
    It also matters that the new product is better than the old product. I’ll put up with this nonsense to have a car that I love to drive, but I’ve driven the new ones, and I won’t put up with this nonsense for a boring car with numb steering and weird throttle response and no manual option, because actually, Lexus makes a better Lexus than BMW does, so why not just buy one of those?

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Chevy must be in the middle somewhere. Where are the rest of the figures for all brands?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Well really, for a long time Mitsu/ChryCo/Dodge had essentially the same vehicles catering to the same customers at the gravel car lots. So it’s not at all surprising thier numbers are similar.

  • avatar

    @smartascii When the door locking mechanism on my 335i started packing it in (leaving three doors inoperable no matter what button was pressed) and after three fuel pumps, I decided the IS 350 couldn’t be THAT bad. Actually, 12 months later, its proven to be nearly perfect, except I have no “relationship” with a service advisor. Loyalty has something to do not only with how you are treated by the dealer, but by the car.

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      Very much agreed. The forums are full of people who all have the same recurring problem(s) with their cars, which tells me that the service people must have heard of said problem before, and yet they always act like they’re mystified that das uberauto has a problem at all, and look at you askance like you must have done something to it.

      • 0 avatar
        Grahambo

        @smartascii: The good news is that the new Lexus IS350-F Sport is a much better car to drive than the F30 3-series BMWs (and my sense is the same goes for the GS vs. 5-series as well; although I have not driven a new GS, the F10 5-series is highly competent but numb and uninspiring). It’s been a while since I’ve drove an E90 so I can’t as accurately compare the F Sport with an E90 (Edgett certainly could weigh in on that with more authority). However, my guess, based on hazy recollection, is the E90 335i drives a bit better. That said, the comparison becomes a no-brainer when you factor in the likely reliability/cost to maintain the IS350 vs. the E90 (or, for that matter, any) 335i. Like 05lgt, I’ve long thought about potentially selling my 05 LGT wagon for an E90, but the 328s were never fast enough and the 335i’s never reliable enough. I kept waiting for BMW to work out all the bugs in the E90 335i, but that never happened (The 2011 N55 seems a bit more reliable than the 2010 and older with N54, at least at this point, but is less thrilling to drive and has its own problems). Throw in the added utility and stealth factor of the LGT wagon (and upgraded suspension) and I’m still happily driving it as it nears its 10th birthday. An F30 would never tempt me (unless they wholesale fix the steering and handling feel in the LCI) but an IS350 F Sport certainly has.

        • 0 avatar

          @grahambo: BMW’s twin-turbo inline six is a uniquely talented blend of hp and torque, and while the Lexus 3.5l V6 does not quite measure up, it’s still got lots of juice. The 8-speed auto makes up for much of the torque deficiency. In every other respect, the IS350 is a superior car to the E90 comparing “sport” to “sport” version. And I don’t find the non-sport package BMW’s to be all that special. They do, like virtually all German cars, stop very well.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Interesting about the stopping well. Car and Driver recently observed that all-season tire equipped BMWs have some of the longest stopping distances of any cars still on the market.

          • 0 avatar
            Grahambo

            Thanks much Edgett. For some time, I’ve been waiting to hear an objective comparison between the two from someone who has with significant experience with both. I loved the IS350 F Sport during my two test drives, but it had been ages since I drove an E90 335i (Sport), which I also very much enjoyed every time I got behind the wheel. No question the 335i has a sweet motor (whether N54 or N55) but it plainly comes at significant costs in terms of reliability, durability, and maintenance.

            Enjoy the F-Sport! It’s a truly magnificent machine and a significant automotive milestone (at least for those who have long desired a sports sedan featuring BMW-like driving prowess coupled with Lexus reliability).

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      But… I aspired to a 335i. It was my future used car. Now I look at the forum and see this? Maybe I have to wait longer and get the Lexus GS with a lot more miles. (Stupid slow depreciation!)

  • avatar
    Fred

    I wasn’t able to upgrade my Audi A3, because I just don’t have the money. Maybe because I came to the entry-level car later in life and my income isn’t rising as much as it once did, or I’m putting it away for retirement. Any way I’d be curious to see if the new entry-level luxury cars result in brand loyalty.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Maybe that’s why Buick needs an CUV between the Encore and the Enclave, so Verano buyers have something to trade up to other than a Lacrosse. The Regal is too close in size to the Verano.

  • avatar
    CowDriver

    I love my Volvo wagon (850/V70) and would cheerfully buy another
    one, except for one tiny fact: Volvo no longer makes the product
    that made them so popular. So, it is good-by Volvo.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    I’ve never owned the same brand twice, so I guess I skew these surveys down. The closest I’ve come to repeat ownership involves two brands that are now under the FCA umbrella (although they weren’t at the time the first was made).

    I used to have a personal rule that I would switch continents every time I switched cars, but it became irrelevant (is a European car made in the US more European than a Japanese car made in Canada is Japanese?)

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      I have a similar rule, trying to have a car from every manufacturer in the alphabet. Some repeats obviously, but it’s a goal.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I haven’t bought many brand new cars during my 68 years on this planet, but I have had more than my fair share of used vehicles of a variety of brands over the past 52 years I have had my drivers license.

        Until the purchase of our brand new 2008 Japan-built Highlander, ALL of the cars we owned were fraught with problems. And this included our brand new ’72 Olds Custom Cruiser, ’77 Toronado, ’88 Silverado, ’92 Towncar and 2006 F150. I made extensive use of the factory warranty coverage!!!

        Surprisingly, our new-bought 2012 Grand Cherokee has been problem-free. Because it is a Toyota, I fully expected my new-bought 2011 Tundra to be problem-free. And it has been.

        I also have no relationship with the service department of my Toyota dealer.

        I’m going to throw my brand loyalty behind Toyota for the future because I have had an excellent ownership experience with them.

        Why dick up a good thing by switching brands?

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Other than the 2006 F-150, it sounds like you bought most of your cars before reliability was really much good.

          I’ve bought four new cars in my life: ’04 Acura TSX, ’06 Civic EX, ’09 G8 GXP, and ’13 Forester XT. None of the four has had any meaningful problem. The worst problem any of them had was on the G8, where the LED array in the CHMSL and the master tire pressure module both failed (fixed in 2012 just before the warranty expired, no problems since).

          My used ’89 Taurus SHO, by contrast, was the sort of car that gives Consumer Reports editors shaky, sweaty nightmares.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            dal20402, ” it sounds like you bought most of your cars before reliability was really much good.”

            That’s true; but an individual’s ownership experience will shape their proclivity as to what to buy in future purchases.

            Why reward an automaker for making a trouble-prone product in the past, by buying another one of their products today?

            I loved each and every one of the brand-new vehicles I bought over the years, but I also spent a lot of time (and money) tooling and wrenching on them to keep them running for my family.

            After 1980, dependable transportation was a must-have for us since we live 26 miles from the nearest town in the middle of the desert of Southcentral NM.

            And as our four kids got older, their need for reliable transportation also became a necessity, with transportation needs for HS and college and part-time jobs.

            All cars will eventually break down. That’s a given! But my car-buying philosophy has changed to the point where I do not want to keep any vehicle beyond the factory warranty coverage.

            The only exception has been the 2008 Japan-built Highlander I decided to keep when we bought the 2012 Grand Cherokee in Phoenix. That Jeep dealership wanted that Highlander in trade, but I wouldn’t let go of it.

            In the annals of automotive experiences this Made in Japan Highlander has truly been an exceptionally reliable vehicle with over 85K on the odo, that continues to do daily duty for my 16-yo grand daughter as her daily driver.

            Other than tires, wipers, oil&air filters and periodic maintenance, it is still an OEM original, down to the plugs, belts, brake pads and AC unit.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I buy what I like/need, regardless of brand. I had a Mitsubishi that I put a lot of miles on in a short span of time for a job. It was inexpensive, fairly efficient and one of the few small wagons available in 2005 that wasn’t a VW or Ford. I traded a Focus on the Mitsu.

    77k in two and a half years for the Mitsu, totaled by being rear ended. One of the most reliable cars I’ve owned, but besides the mechanics of it, it wasn’t a great car. Would I buy another Mitsubishi? Probably, but there are so many other choices, I don’t have to unless they have what I really want.

    We’ve had more Honda/Acura products, new and used, in our family(me, my folks, siblings) than anything else, so it’s our go to I guess. But we don’t automatically run to the Honda store when shopping. It was between the Odyssey and Town and Country on the last one, the general refinement on the Honda winning out. But if the new T&C is that much better, it will be more of a battle in 3 years. Add in the upcoming new Sedona and Kia might be in the running.

    The dealer experience is key too. The Honda dealer was low key, little pressure. The Chrysler dealer was stereotypical “What can I get you to do to buy today”? I tried to explain in so many words to him that I’m a car enthusiast, I don’t need the hard sell. Never heard me, he’s trying to tell me how superior the turning circle of the T&C was to the Honda (it’s not).

    Our Honda saleslady didn’t know much about anything. Fine by me. I’ve only had one car salesperson who was ever a “car guy” and not just “I’m selling these car things over diamonds,watches,couches”

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “The Chrysler dealer was stereotypical “What can I get you to do to buy today”?”

      In 2001, we looked at a Jeep Liberty and the Dodge salesman actually said “…and I have a house payment to make” in addition to what you wrote! We never bought another Chrysler product and probably never will!

      We both felt like kicking something really hard…

      The Honda dealership where we bought Wifey’s 2002 CR-V is very low-key, as is the Chevy dealership where I bought my last two Impalas.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Ok I will play along
    Audi
    honda
    Benz
    Honda
    Saab
    Infinity
    Volvo
    Saab
    VW
    Saab

    Now I can buy what I want thanks to a generous car allowance, I tend to buy used only VW was new, the real issue for me is I want some change in my cars, so I will bounce around, For me it is really what is a good deal at the time but there are some brands that I do not even look at BMW being one of them, I grew up in a GM house and could not really find anything that met my needs when I shopped last time.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Loyalty is fickle. My father abandoned GM for Ford in part because he liked the neighborhood Ford dealer, who got his business when the GM dealers were charging sticker on X-cars in 1980.

    My favorite car is my first new one–an 86 GTI. The new GTI is better in every respect, yet it find it overweight and probably would not buy one.

    Even without ‘fickleness’, new cars are generally quite good and very comparable, unlike the 60s-70s, when the SUCCESSFUL expensive cars stood out (Volvo-durable, BMW-driving machine, Mercedes-solid/quality/last forever, GM (better ride & handling, interiors, ‘move up ladder’), Chrysler (more engine/trans for your money), and Toyota/Datsun/Honda (inexpensive, not cheap). Now they are all the same–for example, every automaker above offers a ‘family size sedan’ with an approx 3.5 V6 making approx 250-300 hp, with a nice interior and lots of features. Very little differentiation, in large part due to govt regulation.

    In my case, I try to support the Detroit Three (OK, top two) manufacturers (even if a lot of their parts or vehicle are not American-made). This is made A LOT easier by the fact that most have now taken the easier, and more profitable path, of AUTOMATIC Trans.

    My list spanning almost 30 years….

    Ford (used)
    VW (new)
    BMW (used)
    Saturn (used)
    Ford (new)
    Pontiac (new)
    Saab (new)
    Pontiac (used)
    Pontiac (new)
    Chevrolet (new)
    Chevrolet (new)

  • avatar
    Pebble

    I’ve bought all over the map, and dealer aftercare is important to me. Let’s see, I’ve owned:
    Oldsmobile-1
    Ford-2
    Chrysler-2
    Plymouth-3
    Mercedes-1
    Studebaker-1
    AMC-2
    Chevrolet-1
    Dodge-1
    Lincoln-1
    Eagle-1

    Brand loyalty is often less important than what’s available when I’m looking.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      “Brand loyalty is often less important than what’s available when I’m looking.”

      This

      • 0 avatar

        This is my own analysis, but I think only enthusiasts go out to but cars with a laundry list of features we are looking for.

        Brand buyers do it because they trust the brand, find comfort in not having to think about it or really love the brand.

        There are the bargain hunters that will seek out the best deal no matter features.

        The biggest group is probably the casual buyer who are highly influenced by what neighbors, family, friends buy. I think these also hear that “x” car has this latest “y” feature that is the newest must have. Hence, so much marketing and emphasis on electronics in cars. Seems to me the “y” factor is what drives lots of sales nowadays and not things like driveability, engine, feel etc.

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          I think a lot of cars are purchased because “Jamie has one, and it’s been a good car”

          I agree- enthusiasts shop equipment, and loyalists shop brands.

          ———————

          It needs to be taken into consideration as to what makes someone become a loyalist. I’ll be buying Chevrolet trucks in the near future. It’s because I’ve had two Fords that were garbage.

          Then, there are loyalists, just because…

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Statistically speaking, many Lincoln & Buick owners are buying close to, if not, their last vehicle.

    I live in metro Detroit, home of the true employee discounts (and corporate PEP vehicles), and even here rarely see someone younger than 60 driving a Buick or Lincoln (despite the advertisements showing Yuppy-ish 4o somethings in those vehicles).

    As far as the entire “loyalty” thing, loyalty is dead in the auto business with the exception of a select few German (on revolving lease deals, ala BMW) and Japanese (usually on purchases for the long haul, ala Accord) makes.

    For the 95% of ‘Mericans in the new ‘Merican Economy (for those buying/leasing new vehicles, which is a lot of people lately thanks to MUD credit standards), it’s a SHOW ME MY MONTHLY PAYMENT loyalty.

    Even pickup truck owners are being conquested by huge piles of cash on the hoods, and they’ve been among the most rock steady brand loyal segment of buyers for the last 50 years or so.

    By the way, the Honda Chief who warned of the incredible “pull forward” effect E-Z financing and huge incentives being offered now will have into the future has it exactly correct.

    There’s going to be a very large crash in new vehicle sales, and and a commensurate crash in used car prices, at some point in the not-too-distant future as a result of manufacturers pumping out product and dealers stacking inventory neck deep and having to blow that inventory out with increasingly larger incentives.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      DW, “Statistically speaking, many Lincoln & Buick owners are buying close to, if not, their last vehicle.”

      This is sooooo true!

      I’m at that stage in my life now but decades of past ownership experiences, prior to our 2008 purchase of a Japan-built Highlander, have conditioned me to steer clear of anything that is not a Toyota brand.

      I hope to someday be able to buy a Lexus LS for the wife, if that is in the cards. Until then, she’ll have to make do with a 2015 Sequoia. already on order.

      • 0 avatar
        Firestorm 500

        The Toyota of 2008 is not the same Toyota of 2014.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Firestorm 500, you’re so right! The Toyota products of 2008 are a lot better than the Toyota products of 2014.

          Hopefully, the Toyota products of 2015 and beyond will be better.

          My wife’s sisters each had a Highlander (2009, 2010,and 2011) and had problems with them. They no longer drive them, but traded them for 2014 Grand Cherokees.

          Hopefully by now all the bugs they experienced with their Grand Cherokees have been corrected and worked out. But getting Jeep dealers to help you is like pulling teeth without an anesthetic.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Tell us again about the Japan-Built Highlander and the trouble free Jeep that pushed you into a Toyota.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          danio3834, the Highlander was bought for my wife because many of her real-estate competitors and ladies of her sales staff drove them to show potential clients property, while my wife still drove her 1992 Towncar.

          The Highlander turned out to be an excellent ownership experience for us. No problems whatsoever.

          The purchase of the 2012 Grand Cherokee was an aberration of my wife’s judgement, driven by emotion, color and styling of the Grand Cherokee she saw on a flatbed in Phoenix, AZ.

          We won’t be keeping it beyond the factory warranty, no matter how good it has been so far. Too much baggage attached to Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep. Been there, done that. Don’t want to experience life/ownership AFTER the factory warranty expires.

          Her next ride will be a 2015 Sequoia. Already ordered, just waiting for it to get here.

          I am looking forward to us being an All-Toyota family. I’m putting my money where my mouth is. And my brand-loyalty!

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Highdesertcat! I’m not gonna criticize you as we all know what works out best for us. So have fun being an all-Toyota family!

            However, I can’t help to point out you arrived there late. Had you done that in the 80s or 90s, you would’ve reaped big rewards from your decision in terms of reliability. Being that all cars are now closer in reliability than ever before, you could, I stress could, be missing ut on something due to something else that happened 20 or 30 years ago.

            BTW, what kind of baggage do you have with Fiat? Did you have one of those convertibles from the 70s and 80s?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Hey Marcelo! Yes, I got to the party late. That’s because I have to be very careful how I spend the little money I do have to get the best bang for the buck (for me). That 2008 Highlander was the very first Toyota product we ever bought and I was pretty shaky about it.

            My best friend (since 1965) bought a brand new 1989 Camry V6 for his wife and his grand daughter still drives it every day. That Camry still has the original spark plugs in it, and since I helped him change the timing belt and CV boots, I can attest that it is not the easiest of cars to work on. But it still runs today! Talk about saving beaucoup bucks!

            Fiat is not high on my favorites list because I was stationed in Germany 1972-1980 and saw a lot of what Fiat sold over there. My second job at night was running the Auto Hobby Shop on the Base and helping the GIs keep their cars legal for use on European roads.

            I have lost count of how many Fiat vehicles I had to condemn for rust and pollution. The 128 (enormously popular with GIs) is especially low on my list, like all the way below the bottom. I have no reason to believe that Fiat has improved any of their products to date.

            Fiat may talk the talk but they are not held in high esteem by my relatives in Germany and Portugal, nor by my friends in England.

            Chrysler-wise, my wife’s sisters owned several of Lee Iacocca’s little jewels, including minivans and K-cars, and my wife often volunteered me to tool and wrench on them because they didn’t have a lot of money (at that time).

            Jeep-wise, I have owned a ton of used Jeep products, including a couple of 4×4 Grand Wagoneers. Loved them! But they required a lot more TLC and repair than the 4X4 vehicles from GM the family-business owned, and those GM products had issues with front half shafts, sheared hubs from use in mud and snow in the mountains, and the standard GM maladies of that time, like stuff falling off, fender braces rusting through, etc.

            I freely stated that the 2012 Grand Cherokee has been the best Jeep we ever owned, but I don’t want to push our good fortune, so far, past the factory warranty period.

            For us, a 2015 Sequoia it is. For me, hopefully a 2016 Tundra 5.7, if they still make them by then.

            That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @Marcelo & HDC….I’m sorta in the same place as HDC . I may be a few years younger {very few}. However, I’ve bought my last car.

            My loyalty is with the domestics. I love the simplicity of my 08 Mustang rag top. With zero winter driving it will out last me.

            I think my 14 Impala LT is the last of the big cars. I hoping/wishing, liberal applications, of rust proofing will give me ????

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Hi mikey. The only thing that matters is that whatever you buy works for you and yours.

            We all have our druthers. I formed mine over the 52 years since the day I got my drivers license at age 16, in Huntington Beach, CA.

            Now……….if money was no object, if I had so much money I didn’t have to worry about price……..

            Well, I’d buy my wife a Lexus LS and/or the Lexus SUV based on the Sequoia.

            But since I always have been a pickup truck guy…… I would like to have a pickup truck that would make me feel happy and content.

            And I haven’t found anything in my life experiences that makes me feel any better than my Tundra 5.7.

            The next Tundra 5.7 I buy for 2016 will have four doors and the 4×4 drive system. I don’t need a fancy interior; the Limited will do just fine.

            That’s how I see the final driving years of my life.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey highdesertcat: You got them (Fiat) at one of their low points. After that the Uno, Punto among others were vastly improved. One day I’ll do an article and explain what happened.

            Hey Mikey: Bet you will outlive both Mustang and Impala and come back for more!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Hey Marcelo! I wish you would write more articles. I always enjoy reading them, and your take on things.

            I rarely comment except on topics where I feel compelled to do so, but I do read all the articles I am interested in.

            Just goes to show that even when we all have the same “facts”, we each bring our own value system to bear to arrive at the conclusions that work for us.

            I believe, for instance, and have stated this several times, that Sergio is the best thing that ever happened to Chrysler, and the worst nightmare of the UAW. Sergio is imminently qualified to lead Fiatsler forward.

            However, for me, enjoying a Jeep product during the factory warranty period does not translate to wanting to keep same Jeep product beyond the factory warranty expiration date.

            The topic at hand deals with brand loyalty. And the only loyalty I have is to a brand that gives me the best bang for the buck.

            I’m a recent convert to Toyota, and so far, so good. I am becoming more loyal to Toyota every day based on my own experience with our Highlander and my Tundra, and the experiences of my friends and family.

    • 0 avatar
      TomHend

      ohhh there is going to be a crash alright, and not just in new and used cars or the stock market, but in everything. You are exactly right on the “monthly payment” economy, the Ponzi that has been going on for thirty years, here and globally, will not end well, when it will happen nobody knows, and it probably wont be “Mad Max” but it will not be a “black swan” either, the problems are everywhere and in plain sight, when the psychology changes watch out.

  • avatar
    340-4

    I think this is a complex issue. Not so much tied to reliability anymore as cars are generally all pretty good compared to 20 years ago. Maybe except for VW, Jaguar, and BMW (out of warranty).

    My history:

    Chevrolet (14 years)
    Buick (23 years – still own)
    Eagle (5 years)
    VW (8 months)
    Buick (10 years – still own)
    Nissan (10 years)
    Nissan (1 year)
    Nissan (2 years)
    Dodge (9 months – current)

    The only car that left due to reliability and fear was the VW.

    The Nissans were superb but the last two I just didn’t like or were really uncomfortable.

    Loyalty now may have more to do with how much you like the dealership, changing needs, or simply what you want – maybe you just want a change.

    I suspect that improved dealership experiences – either with sales or service departments – might improve these loyalty numbers.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Agreed with several commenters that dealership experience has a lot to do with it. Twice, I’ve bought a different brand than I originally thought I would because I had terrible experiences at multiple dealers from the brand I hoped to buy. Once that was Honda, once it was Ford.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I owned a few domestic, Euro and Japanese beaters when that’s all I could afford. $200 max, ’80s junk, barely or not running. But I noticed Ford issues were the easiest for me to diagnose and fix so I stuck with them. Not that Ford/Lincoln/Mercury cars were better than the rest, but you quickly learn a brand’s weakest links. You get to know who sells their used parts and which parts intermix between models.

    So today, maybe I’m loyal to new Fords in case anything breaks.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    I’m really surprised Volkswagen isn’t on the list of companies with the lowest loyalty. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone who hasn’t been burned by VW and has forever swore off the brand.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      This result is expressed as a percentage, and each of those owners whose VW turned them into an angry serial killer is counterbalanced by a rabid VWVortex fanboi. You don’t get many rabid Scion fanbois.

      • 0 avatar
        bomberpete

        I think the few rapid Scion fanbois are mostly 50-year-old hipsters with an ’04-’06 Xb before they got larded up. They will easily morph into Toyota when Scion bites the dust. Seriously, don’t they already own a Sienna, Camry or Highlander as the family car?

        • 0 avatar
          Syke

          That’s going to depend heavily on the dealer. My xB is a hoot (I’m 64, by the way) and I like it, the dealer is competent with the service department, but they’re way into upselling service beyond the point that I can happily deal with. That will probably keep me out of a follow-up Toyota product.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        Very true, our VW experience has my wife swearing to never own another, while my brother is on VW number THREE and would grab another VAG product (especially an Audi) tomorrow without question.

        I was once a loyal Honda fan but they don’t offer anything sporty so I’m out. I’ve owned a few Fords and would get another one, but the wife is not so sure. Ironically my Dodge has (knock on wood) been one of the longest lasting vehicles in our stable thus I’d have no trouble getting another one. The wife currently has a Volvo (the odd ball C30), but nothing they make these days is of any interest what so ever.

        As mentioned by others since overall reliable is so good these days its pretty easy to jump ship. Especially since “dealer service” means almost nothing. Our Volvo experience has been pretty good, but I am still not blown way to the point where I’d rush back, as they still need a product for me. I’ve been happy with my Nissan and could return to them.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone who has been burned by VW and purchased another VW anyway”

      FTFY

  • avatar
    GS 455

    Brand loyalty is multifactorial. People who just want an affordable and reliable automotive appliance will be happy to just stick with the same brand. People who want a bit of luxury and style, who buy Buick, Infiniti,Volvo, Jaguar will change brands just for the sake of having something different. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they were unhappy with a particular brand or that they died. And by the way, pundits have been saying for the last 50 years that Buick’s buyers will all die off. Funny thing is, young people get older too and Buicks start looking good to them. This could happen to you!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      GS 455, there are three careers in life that will insure job security:
      1. The Food industry, because everyone needs to eat,
      2. The Housing industry, because everyone needs a place to live,
      3. And the Mortuary business, because everyone dies and needs buried.

      Everything else is a matter of choice. And in America we are very fortunate to still have some choice when it comes to cars we buy and drive.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        And yet we have the least choice in what to drive in the developed world. Sad, that.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          krhodes1, we just have to adapt and overcome to maximize the choices we still have in America, for they will be fewer in the future as CAFE and EPA mandates start to bite.

          So today presents an excellent opportunity, for those who can, to buy that new car that they long for.

          All cars, regardless of brand, have never been better, albeit in many cases duller, and will last longer than anything else prior. A wise investment in transportation today, like any Honda or Toyota product, should last the buyer a decade or more.

          This really is the best time we Americans have had in a long while to buy a new car, a new house or step up to a larger home. Loan rates are low and repayment terms are longer, for those who want or need that.

          My wife and her family sure are doing a booming business in real estate these days, and cherishing each and every sale!

          And they are selling all the used company cars and trucks at a very brisk rate as well.

          Life is good!

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Lutz stated that Buick was a dead brand. In the US Buick sold more than 1000000 cars in 1984 and about 102000 or 10% of that in 2009.

      Buick lost 90% of its sales! Pontiac was a more viable brand – except for China.

      The only problem w/ China is that at some point the Chinese will make life very difficult for alien manufacturers.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m not expert, but from everything I’ve read VW and Buick are not viewed as “alien” to Chinese folks. I think GM would relocate *to* China if it had to for Buick.

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    Dodge doesn’t include the Ram these days, so their lineup is pretty much entirely cars for the subprime set. The cars don’t inspire loyalty and many of the buyers are just going with whoever will get them a car.

  • avatar

    Buick and Jaguar are probably struggling because their current products are alienating their (geriatric) customer base. I figure that this might, in time, rectify itself. The others, however, need serious help.

  • avatar
    JLGOLDEN

    My history:
    Pontiac
    Pontiac
    Pontiac
    Chevy
    Chevy
    Hyundai
    Mercury
    Pontiac
    Ford
    Ford
    Nissan
    Toyota
    Oldsmobile
    Nissan
    Pontiac
    Mercury
    Honda
    GMC
    VW
    Acura
    Ram
    VW
    Cadillac
    Kia
    Kia

  • avatar
    LALoser

    Plymouth,Pontiac,Chevrolet,Chrysler,Ford,Ford,Chevrolet,Plymouth,Isuzu,Chevrolet,Mazda,Mitsubishi,Isuzu(Guam),GMC,Ford,Mahindra(India),Mitsubishi(PI),Benz(ZA),Mitsubishi(Thailand),Honda(NZ&OZ),Volvo,Dodge,Chevrolet,Mitsubishi,Mitsubishi,Mitsubishi,Subaru,Jeep.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Spam, spam, spam, Chevy, spam, spam, Nissan, spam, Honda, spam, spam, spam, Chevy, spam, spam, Honda, spam, spam, spam, Mercury with a mornay sauce garnished with truffle paté, Honda and Honda.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Hmm… might as well play.

    Ford (used)
    Ford (used)
    Honda (used)
    Acura
    Honda
    Pontiac
    Subaru

  • avatar
    caljn

    Re: brand loyaly, my list…

    Buick
    Toyota
    Toyota
    VW
    VW
    Volvo
    Nissan
    Nissan
    Nissan
    Cadillac
    Infiniti
    Nissan

    They were all good cars, but do favor the Nissan V6 and have got my eye on the refreshed Infiniti Q70.

    Cadillac CTS lasted 3 months, couldn’t get past the driving in a bathtub position and beltline…no elbow out the window here.

  • avatar
    LBJs Love Child

    House stacks!

    Morris
    Dodge
    International Harvester
    BMW
    Honda
    VW
    VW
    VW
    Ford
    Ford
    Mercury
    Ford
    MINI
    Ford

    Lot’s of overlap.

  • avatar
    Redshift

    What the heck, I might as well play:

    Honda
    Honda
    + Honda Motorcyle
    + Honda Motorcycle
    Mazda (still own)
    Acura
    Ford
    Nissan (race car)
    Chevrolet
    Mazda (still own)
    Mazda (Race car, still own)
    Subaru
    Subaru
    Subaru
    Subaru (still own)
    Mazda (still own)
    Mazda (still own)
    Chevrolet (still own)

    Not bad considering I’m still in my 30s with plenty of car-buying time left.

  • avatar
    rjones

    My turn:

    VW
    VW
    Audi
    Volvo
    Volvo
    Volvo
    Volvo

    No idea what I will buy next. I’m a wagon guy, but the V70 isn’t available anymore, the V60 and XC70 aren’t really wagons in my book, and I sure as hell won’t be buying a VAG product ever again.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    We were loyal GM and Chrysler buyers until we realized that the cars started to nickle and dime at whatever chance they had. Spending your Saturday mornings and figuring out a way during the week to drop your car at the shop was a part of life.

    After replacing transmissions and suspensions in the Chrysler’s, transmissions, suspension components, and interiors that fell apart on the GM’s we decided to look at Hyundai/KIA. Just sold the first KIA with almost 100K miles and nothing was wrong with it. If it was a Chrysler or GM it would have had to had the suspension completely rebuilt and probably transmission issues by then.

    I find it funny that there are people that go onto the Facebook pages of KIA claiming “junk”, and buy “American” just to troll their point of view. My KIA experience has been nothing but positive. Sure it’s a brand that is known for making crap cars back when they first arrived on the scene here, but didn’t we hear that about Toyota when they came to our shores?

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Yeah. It was called “Jap crap.” Winning people over was a tough job.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      SC5door, those people that go onto Facebook are paid to post disinformation on social media. You find them on other sites as well. Now who has a vested interest in doing such things?

      The ironic thing is that many “American” cars are actually built in Canada or Mexico, both foreign countries last I heard.

      And even more ironic is that foreign-owned automakers like Toyota, Honda, Hyundai/KIA, Nissan, Subaru, BMW, Mercedes, VW and Chrysler are providing valuable jobs, employing Americans making cars for Americans, in America.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      When Kia and Hyundai first came to North America they weren’t the most dependable. Residual value plummeted once the warranty expired. They have been amazing in how quickly they improved.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    A bit late to the party, but:

    1960’s – Buick
    1970’s – VW
    1980’s – Chrysler
    1990’s – Toyota
    2000’s – Audi
    2010’s – Audi

    Ever since 1978 or so when I first saw the Quattro Coupe I wanted an Audi, but it wasn’t until later in life that it became a reasonable choice financially.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    New:
    Pontiac
    Ford
    Toyota
    Nissan
    Isuzu
    Subaru

    If they had updated the Trooper I would have repeated in a heartbeat. I love that thing (it’s retired, awaiting severe repair after an accident).

    Play cars/not new:
    Plymouth
    Ford
    AMC
    GMC
    Rambler
    Triumph
    Fiat
    Audi
    Saab

  • avatar
    nrd515

    A friend of mine buys nothing but Ford. Even after a Windstar van that ate EIGHT transmissions. Even after the F-150 that had a long long series of electrical issues. Even after the Explorer that had a bad connecting rod punch a hole in the block. He just keeps buying. I don’t get it. He did nothing but complain about the above vehicles and the F-250SD he had that cost him a bunch in after warranty repairs. The only car I ever remember him having that wasn’t a Ford was a ’88 Corvette that he had for a couple of years. The only thing that died on it was the cassette deck. It was pretty quick after it got some mods. Suddenly, it was replaced by a ’92 Mustang which he did nothing but complain about. It had all kinds of creaks and groans.

    I’ve never had a Ford (The F150 is the only thing they make that really appeals to me), but I’ve had both GM and Chrysler cars. Only one really bad one, a ’77 Power Wagon. The last three Dodges have been pretty damn good. Looks like it will be another one in a couple of years, unless the upcoming Camaro looks a lot better than the one out there now.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    Let’s see, what is my brand history:

    Olds.
    Olds.
    Plymouth.
    Dodge (1977 Power Wagon- The worst thing ever).
    Pontiac.
    Chevy.
    Chevy.
    Dodge
    Chevy
    Jeep
    Jeep
    GMC
    Dodge.
    Dodge.
    Dodge.

  • avatar
    Sky_Render

    I own 3 Fords. Apparently, I’m one of “those people.”

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