The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Polk Automotive Loyalty Award Winners Announced: GM and Toyota Take Top Honors for 2006 Model Year

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

SOUTHFIELD, MI - January 16, 2007: R. L. Polk & Co. presented the 11th Annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards last night at the 2007 Automotive News World Congress.

Winning the Overall Manufacturer award for the seventh consecutive year, General Motors demonstrated an outstanding ability to retain its customers for the 2006 model year, which ended Sept. 30. GM also secured five additional awards including honors for its Chevrolet Impala, Corvette and Tahoe, and the Saturn ION and VUE.

"GM customer loyalty increased at least 3 percentage points in each winning category," said Stephen R. Polk, chairman, president and CEO of R. L. Polk & Co. "We congratulate GM and wish the company continued success in its customer loyalty efforts as it launches several new products this year."

Toyota was also a big winner this year, scoring more than 3 percentage points higher than last year in customer loyalty and taking honors in the Overall Make category for posting the highest make loyalty to an automotive division. It was also recognized with two segment loyalty awards. Toyota Prius won the Midsize Car segment becoming the first hybrid vehicle to be honored. Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., was a repeat winner in the Midsize SUV segment for its Lexus RX.

"While hybrids continue to make up just a small percentage of the overall market, hybrid owners have been known to be very enthusiastic about their vehicles," said Polk. "We expect this trend to continue as an increased number of manufacturers are working on adding more fuel-efficient vehicles to their offerings."

Overall for the industry, make loyalty for the 2006 model year was 44.4 percent. Recent studies by Polk show consumers are consistently more loyal to Asian brands (47.6 percent), versus European (37.3 percent) and domestic makes (43.5 percent).

Ford Motor Company was also a multi-award winner this year and accepted honors for its Ford F-Series, Mustang and Lincoln Town Car. Other brands capturing loyalty honors were Chrysler, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz.

Polk Manufacturer Loyalty Excelerator(TM) Report

Polk's Manufacturer Loyalty Excelerator(TM) Report, which is the basis for the Polk Automotive Loyalty rankings and annual awards, is the latest insight into consumer loyalty. This report was introduced to the automotive industry in 1995 and was created to provide household loyalty information to manufacturers at many different levels. It is now used to provide loyalty percentages for the entire automotive industry and allows for cross-industry comparisons of loyalty behavior. The report measures loyalty throughout the entire model year so that manufacturers may keep abreast of loyalty trends as they occur in the industry.

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.

Polk Automotive Loyalty Award winners - 2006 Model year

  Category                 Winner                   Loyalty    Loyalty %
                                                       %         for
  Overall Awards:
  Manufacturer Loyalty     General Motors*            61.4       53.2
  Make Loyalty             Toyota*                    57.7       44.4

  Vehicle Segment
  Small Car                Saturn ION*                27.8       14.6
  Midsize Car              Toyota Prius               35.0       17.0
  Large Car                Chevrolet Impala           32.4       20.9
  Luxury Car               Lincoln Town Car*          34.9       18.1
  Prestige Luxury Car      Mercedes-Benz S-Class      31.4       24.5
  Sports Car               Ford Mustang*              19.9       11.7
  Prestige Sports Car      Chevrolet Corvette         27.0       19.8
  Minivan                  Chrysler Town & Country*   27.4       15.2
  Compact Pickup Truck     Toyota Tacoma*             18.7       12.2
  Full-Size Pickup Truck   Ford F-Series*             36.8       32.0
  Compact SUV              Saturn VUE                 29.6       16.7
  Midsize SUV              Lexus RX 300/330/400h*     31.1       17.2
  Full-Size SUV            Chevrolet Tahoe            22.3       16.6
  Prestige SUV             Land Rover Range Rover*    35.5       19.5

  * 2005 Model Year Polk Automotive Loyalty Award Winner

EDITOR'S ADVISORY: For clarification, the term "Manufacturer" is defined
as an OEM parent organization, for example, General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Sales. "Make" is defined as any brand within the
manufacturer's portfolio, including Chevrolet, Lincoln and Saturn. The term
"Model" represents a specific vehicle name.