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Once Again, Hyundai Takes Top Honors In Loyalty Index

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2011 Hyundai Accent

2011 Hyundai Accent

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There's a lot of talk these days about the death of brand loyalty -- particularly about Generations X and Y and how they're on the lookout for good deals, not a brand they can wed for life. And while that may be true, that hasn't stopped Hyundai from walking off with top honors in the esteemed Brand Keys Loyalty Index for the second year in a row.

The index -- formally known as the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index -- employs clinical psychology as a tool for market analysis. Using a 50/50 mix of men and women across the U.S., Brand Keys interviews shoppers between the ages of 18 and 65 about their opinions and their habits in the marketplace. The firm then takes that data and uses it to predict future buying trends and profitability for particular companies. (If you're really into survey methodology, have a look-see.)

Brand Keys analyzes a range of sectors, from airlines to wireless phone service, and in the automotive category, Hyundai has come out on top for a second straight year. According to Brand Keys' president, Dr. Robert Passikoff, Hyundai's Assurance Program was what tilted the scales in the company's favor; it was an innovation that made customers happy and secure in buying Hyundai products. He continues:

It comes down to delight. You have consumers who know who you are, know where to get you, know what you do, and they know what they think you're worth. Now the issue is experience and innovation: what it has come down to is 'delight me.'

Rounding out the top ten "delighters":

2. Ford
3. Honda/Nissan (tie)
4. Mercedes/BMW (tie)
5. Kia/GM (tie)
6. Subaru
7. Jeep/Toyota (tie)
8. Mazda/Mitsubishi/Volkswagen (tie)
9. Chrysler
10. Audi/Chevrolet/Volvo (tie)

And curiously, at #11: Saab.

There are some notable absences -- Dodge, for example. Ram. Lincoln. Cadillac. GMC. Suzuki. This wouldn't seem to bode well for their sales, much less customer loyalty over the next few years. But as Dr. Passikoff notes, change is possible: Ford was listed in 12th place just two years ago, so who knows what 2012 may bring? Well, except maybe the end of the world.  

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Comments (8)
  1. About sixty years ago the old saw was "Once a Nash, always a Nash..."; they weren't worth a dime in trade on anything else. Today, I'm told the same holds true for Hyundai. That's one way to acheive owner loyalty.
     
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  2. The owner loyalty is not based on how long you keep the car, but those willing to buy from the brand again. I just purchased my third Hyundai, the fifth in my family, there is a reason I would buy from them again. I have also owned a GM and there is a reason I won't buy from them again. As for resale Hyundai's values may be low but they are rising and at least I'm not fronting all that resale value in repair costs!
     
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  3. Tom, your comments seem based more in bias against Hyundai than in some parity between Nash and Hyundai. What the Koreans have done methodically over the last 10 or so years should scare the h#ll out of the American brands, which are just now finally starting to show the signs of life that they had until the 60s. The Japanese did it to the American brands, and now the Koreans are doing it to everyone. The Chines may be next, but I estimate it will be atleast 20 years before they have the stand alone credibility that Hyundai/Kia have built for themselves over these last few years.
    Do yourself a favor, go take a Hyundai for a drive back to back against its closest American counterpart. It's humbling.
     
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  4. I agree with James. the Hyundai's that are at the dealerships today are very capable and beautiful cars. Their prices are competitive and have been getting better every year. I am sure you will find fault with the car you drive but drive an equivalent size Mercedes or BMW and make an honest comparison based on quality and price. Sure the BMW will handle better than most of the Hyundai's but so will a Ferrari and I bet you won't cough up the money for that brand.
     
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  5. I bought my first 2011 Hyundai Sonata in the Venetian red.# mo.ago this car is a joy to drive.I love it never liked a car as much as I this one.I've has my share of new cars. i bought a new 1998 Pontac Grand Prix.Changed the oil every 3,000 mi amd not even 100,000 mi.on it and the motor locked up twice.Repair was costly.It's new home is a junk yard.
     
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  6. Remember the days when Honda & Toyota had this top spot with no question asked.
     
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  7. No, there's no bias there. I'm not suggesting that Hyundais aren't delightful automobiles. They're bringing some eye-catching and seemingly compelling products to the marketplace these days. Nash and (later) American Motors did the same in the '50's,'60's, and '70's (perhaps eye-catching wouldn't have describe many of them, but functional and practical [in large measure] would), but for whatever reason they were worth considerably more in trade on another of their kind. My understanding from friends in the car business is that Hyundais and Kias suffer from the same problem today. That's my only point; I'm not suggesting there's anything wrong with the cars.
     
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  8. My first encounter with Hyundai was a misdeliver rental. I ended up having to apologie to the clerk who assigned it to me. I drove it for a week and bought the 2005 Santa Fe I still have. I am dealing on a 2011 now, but keeping the old one as it is too good to get rid of and I need a second car. Never have drivenanother vehichle that i liked this much or which felt as safe and stable. I am 72, been driving with a license since age 14, so I am a little out of the study's guidelines but that is my perspective
     
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