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Honda Has Most Repeat Customers, J.D. Power Says

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2009 Honda Fit

2009 Honda Fit

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When it comes to bringing buyers back to the showrooms, no brand does it better than Honda, according to a new survey from the marketing-research team at J.D. Power and Associates.

Power's Customer Retention Study for 2008 reports that Honda saw 64.7 percent of its buyers return when shopping for their next vehicle. Toyota placed second at 63.2 percent and Lexus third at 60.4 percent.

“Honda has historically been a strong performer in terms of customer retention, but 2008 marks the first time since the inception of the study that the brand has achieved the highest retention rate in the industry,” said Debbie Ortuño, manager of product research and analysis at J.D. Power and Associates.

The industry as a whole averaged 48 percent retention, though about a third of all brands increased their retention rates over 2007. Land Rover marked the biggest increase in retention, up 18 percent.

Power also notes that fuel economy and safety have surged in the rationales of shoppers when buying a new vehicle--and addressing those needs will be even more important in 2009, when new vehicle sales are expected to crater at around 12 million units.

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Comments (19)
  1. Remarkable, given that
    1. Honda dealers are cheapskates and rarely give any discounts, and
    2. Honda, and especially ACURA Exterior Styling has really gone to the DAGWS recently (or the last 10-15 years for some models)
    But customers appreciate VALUE, which is NOT Equal to "first cost", which may be 1-5k higher than the POS from Hyundai and Chrysler and even Nissan, BUT the TOTAL cost, including resale, repairs and maintenance, will be lower, AND the satisfaction of driving a far better vehicle than comparably priced models will be an extra bonus.
    (now wait and see how high the usual suspects will Jump... LOL)
    PS the Land Rover, although a serious off-road overachiever, has the DEAD LAST Reliability of ANY, domestic or forgign, brand, for years. 400 problems per 100 vehicles, vs 50 or so for the top brand, acc. to JD Power.
     
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  2. Interesting, I have owned 4 Hondas over the past 10 years. I got sick of getting no deals when I walked into the dealer. Snobby salesman who think they are almighty holy ones and also expensive service, 15,000 30-60,000 mile services. I just switched to a Malibu for a change. The sales man where there with a smile and I saved big time on the price of the car. Also service is awsome, good deals they bend over backwards and also so far the maintence is ALOT cheaper. I have not had 1 warranty issue yet. All I can say is it looks like Detroit is turning things around and I will buy a Malibu next. Thanks for your time.
     
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  3. Honda has always been a value brand. The cars do not carry the ridiculous amounts of mark up that the domestic brands have built into their MSRP. That is why you do not get insane amounts of money off. Honda does boast the highest amount of resale, reliability, and customer ownership satisfaction. I think Honda has made vast improvements in their safety technologies and I am personally fond of the new styling. Prior years looked like boxes and had cheap materials but now it appears they are taking a lot of the styling from the Acura line. As far as buying the Malibu, you may need to hold onto it for 7 years before trading it in will be cost effective. The nice thing about Honda is you can trade out in 3-4 years and not be upside down in a payment if you need to finance for 60-72 months. My Honda oil change is $32. I think that is reasonable since a Tech is looking over my car, not just changing the oil. The Range Rover probably cost $32 to have the air checked in the tires (although they would have a nice lounge area and imported coffee). Thank you and I can't wait to see the new Insight on showroom floors.
     
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  4. Mark, me suspects even Honda dealers offer discounts and would do more for customers as even their sales have plummeted. Agre with Ed re Honda design, in the 80's they hit the mark, 90's down hill and now blandorama (except Fit, one of the nicer lookers in the class) all you need to look at is proposals for next NSX. Sad.
    but will Honda and Toyota become the new detroit in the next decade, following similar path (except re quality) bland design, poor service, living off past experience. As the boomers die off gen X and Y may not have such happy memories of these two brands (though at least Toyota has Scion), yes reliable but oh so bland. Why i like Mazda, still get the reliability of Japanese brand but better style and more emphasis on driving experience.
     
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  5. Well, the almighty Honda and Toyota are bound to suffer some of the same ills that has plagued the Domestic big three. When a company, any company, gets too big and too successful they tend to get complacent. Honda and Toyota don't really have to give any discounts (at least not as much as the big three) due to higher demands from consumers. They know people are coming back for more no matter how they get treated. GM did that back in the day and look where they ended up. AS far as design philosophy goes, when you have a successful formula you take a huge risk changing it too drastically. So what corporate suites do is take the less risky road by staying conservative and a generation after another of bland conservative designs are giving us what we see today in the Acura and some Honda cars.
     
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  6. I wouldn't have a problem with Honda's styling if it didn't come with such compromises. The 2007 Accord had nice LED taillights. The new and improved 2008 Accord has a single light bulb...inside strange, plain taillights. Recently I saw a car ahead of me merging from an onramp. Thought to myself, "that looks kinda nice for a Focus". Turns out it was a 2008 Accord. Still not sure about the '08 Pilot. I traded an '04 Pilot for an '07 BMW X3. I love to look at it but hate the ride with the sport pkg. Not to mention the storage, cubbies, cupholders...etc. My Pilot was showing signs of age at 55k. Creaks and groans and so ponderous on the road. But, I kinda miss it! Too bad the '08 was hit with a bigger ugly stick than the front of the CR-V.
     
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  7. Funny thing about resale: When you buy the car they tell you how great it is, but when you go to trade it in they tell you how they can buy your car at the auction for X, why should they give you any more than they can buy at the aution? Then you drive by the lot and there is your car with $6K in profit across the windshield.
    happens with hondas all the time and BMW dealers will really stick it to you on a trade.
     
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  8. I guess you people didn't ever try to buy the Oddyssey or the Ridgeline - then you'd notice the kinds of discounts that Hondas can come with :-)
    Toyota is it - more recommended and top cars than Honda and much lower servicing costs.
     
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  9. Well, DUH, in the last few months, with the banks gone to hell and not lending, of course even the BEST in the Industry, Honda and TOyota, and even BMW, will have discounts on some of hteir slow-selling models.
    Honda had a FANTASTIC 2008 compared to ANY of itys major competitors, if you care to see the total sales nos.
    In May, it sold 53,000 civics, taking, un-believably, the NUMBER ONE sales spot for the first time ever from the Ford F150. But in November, it only sold 17,000 or so Civics. Maybe dirt-cheap gas recently has something to do with it, but I bet it is more the lack of loans.
    Honda and TOyota are not anything even close to the failed Detroit 3. And they respect the customer far more than the 3 ever will. but their local DEALERS are a different story, of course, they know they are selling superior products and most of the time they do not need to give you a dicsount.
    Hondas are far better for those that do not view cars as appliances. For the non-enthusiasts, I recommend Corollas and even Camrys. Good quality, reliable, but not fun to drive. So why not get a Honda and get it all, except for exterior styling where both suck. (in this price range. Or a BMW if you can afford it)
     
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  10. I just traded in an 03 Accord that I bought new, for an 09 CTS. The Caddy dealer may not have been as "warm and fuzzy" as the Honda staff, but they were still pleasant. As for the Accord, it was no prize pig having had three recalls in addition to other warranty work done on it. Unless the day comes that there is no domestic auto industry, I'll take my chances supporting my own country.
     
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  11. That Accord was proudly made in the US. I suspect the CTS is too (sign me up for one please). However a bunch of other "domestic" cars will find you supporting Mexican, Canadian, Korean, and even the Chinese workers, so it's never too clear which car is better for the economy.
     
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  12. I checked the data bank of the "Bible" of the Auto industry (Automotive News), and indeed the CTS and most other Caddilacs are made in the US. HOWEVER, the Escalade EXT is made in MEXICO, and all kinds of other Detroit 3 models are made in Canada, Mexico, and even S. Korea, and then IMPORTED in the USA. So if you really want to support your local $73 an hour (correct total cost to the Detroit 3, not take home pay) UAW buddies, (while everything else you use, TVs, electronics, even the clothes and sneakers on you) are imported, you better check it out that the vehicle is indeed assembled in the USA.
    As for the 03 Accord, my 1990 Accord lasted 18 years until I donated it, and besides some exterior rust, it was in pefect working order. And most colleagues of mine that tried to claim that their wives' or daughter's accords were not reliable, admitted, on further questioning, that said wives or daughters grossly abused the vehicles (most common: forgot to change the oil!!!!!!).
    No car is 100% reliable, but there is a difference between 50 faults in 100 cars (Lexus, TOyota or Honda) and 400 (!!) (Land Rover!)
     
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  13. PS: The CTS is a near-luxury car, while the Accord is not (Unless it is a V6 with leather and nav etc).
    A more appropriate domestic substitute for the 03 Accord would be a new Malibu or Malibu Hybrid.
    HAving ssaid that, I once test-drove the stickshift version of the prior Gen CTS and, while the excterior was sharp, i was quiute dissapointed by the inferior (even for a non-luxury car) hard plastics in the interior, among other things.
    As for the previous and utterly failed Opel Clone previous near-luxury Caddy, the infamous, boring looking Catera, I had the experience to test drive a brand new one, and the driver's door handle broke, and it was not a cheap fix either, they had to take the door apart etc. Glad I did not have to pay any of the $400 or so outrageous repair cost.
     
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  14. The 03 Accord was a loaded EX with leather, nav. etc., and I wasn't making a direct comparison of the Accord and CTS exactly, just stating the the Accord was pretty dissapointing when compared to it's reputation. As for where a vehicle is made, yes some "domestic" makes are built in Canada, Mexico etc., but if you take into account supporting the US workforce AND which country the profits flow back to I'll try to support the US economy. Otherwise it will be the same situation as shopping for electronics, clothes etc. Ever tried finding something actually made in America anymore?
     
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  15. James - you said "profits" :-) I think that it's more important to support the actual workforce (now more than ever) than count on any excess money coming back to Detroit.
     
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  16. I know what you mean JKD, but with no money going back to the "domestics" for research and development, advertising and such, it is just a viscious spiral downward.
     
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  17. With CEOS like that clueless Wagoner at GM, if you give GM aid and let him (and the 5 members of the GM board tyhat have supported idiotic decisions of Wagoners such as the $4 billion FIAT Fiasco) keep his job,
    then you will indeed have
    " just a viscious (corr: vicious) spiral downward."
     
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  18. How about the money we give them going to retooling the F-150 factory in the US instead of the one in Mexico to make the Fiesta? And why does Cruze have to be made in Korea? I will NEVER ever buy either one of them just because of that. Ford's and GM's futures are riding on those two models - it'd be nice to make them part of this country to get consumers' buy-in. Otherwise, they can go screw themselves. I'd buy a Californian Corolla if I'd need a car like that.
     
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  19. The reason to why there are more repeat buyers for Honda and Toyota than the US 3 is because people know they are getting value. Yes their designs are going down but the drive and feel as well as quality has not missed a heartbeat. I myself am a Honda lifer. I have been driving Hondas for as far as I know. My 1994 Civic was a rust bucket but hell it was fun to drive. When I decide to part with it I have people bidding for it. I currently drive an 06 Civic and love the car alot. First it is very good on gas, two weeks of daily driving only cost me $31 enough for two weeks. The drive is so responsive, for such a small car there is so much technology put into it compared to US small cars I have driven such as the awful Cobalt.
    Friends that I know who drive american cars are always having little problems here and there with vehicles, my vehicle has passed a 100,000 already and heck there is no maintenance aside from the monthly oil change. The most I spent on it is buying new tires. A friends 06 Cobalt has already turn lights issues and other little bugs with the engine and his car hasnt even reached the 100,000 milestone.
    For those Malibu buyers, wait till you want to sell your cars then you'd regret not buying a Honda or a Toyota. The residual value for a Malibu is very low while Hondas and Toyotas are in demand, both can go as far 400,000 kms as long as you take care of your car properly.
    What's worst for those flag waving buyers is that buying a car by brand instead of the quality build has a price to reckon in the end. That time will come when the Detroit 3 liquidates eventually. This bailout is just a band aid eventually the guy sinking will still sink though at a much slower pace. When that time comes, no one will buy American POS as there is just no parts out there and no dealers to service them no more.
     
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