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.