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Those Who Keep Cars Longer Are Less Brand-Loyal

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2015 Dodge Grand Caravan

2015 Dodge Grand Caravan

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The longer you keep your car, the less likely you are to replace it with another model from the same brand.

There may be plenty of brand-and-model exceptions, but that’s what a new analysis from Experian Automotive finds across the vehicle market—and it definitely upends some inferences about the two, as they’re often used in advertising and marketing.

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Experian found that, on average, only 33.8 percent of those who owned a vehicle for 12 years would choose another vehicle from the same brand family; whereas for those only owning a vehicle for one year, the loyalty rate was nearly 25 percent higher—57.3 percent.

Loyalty keeps up near 60 percent through three years of ownership, then it skews quite sharply downward.

Dodge tops for ownership—and not so good for loyalty

Both Dodge and Buick owners held on to their vehicles the longest (113 months, or about nine and a half years). Dodge had a very low loyalty rate of 22.6, while Buick did better, at 38.4 percent.

And apparently, with more time you're not exposed to the latest and greatest from the brand you currently have, comes a greater the chance you'll set eyes on something with a different badge.

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“Over the course of seven years of ownership, a lot of things change, including vehicle product offerings, vehicle budget and credit score,” said Experian’s director of automotive market statistics, Brad Smith. “Additionally, the increase in time between dealer interactions, whether they are for sales or service, increases the probability of a customer defecting to the competition.”

2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6R

2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6R

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Subaru strong on loyalty, shorter on initial ownership

Ford and Subaru were among the top brands for loyalty, at 61 percent and 59.4 percent, respectively. Among those, Subaru stood out as having a markedly lower, 85-month length of ownership.

Among luxury brands, Acura and Volvo were the brands with the longest length of ownership.

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