2012 Hyundai Veloster
The good news -- for Hyundai fans, at least -- is that the Korean automaker has driven to the top ten of Brand Keys' Customer Loyalty Leaders Index for a second year in a row. The bad news is that of the hundreds of brands that Brand Keys studied, no other car company broke the top 50, and just three (including Hyundai) made the top 100.
Here's how the study works: research firm Brand Keys tracks 528 brands across 78 categories, like airlines, beer, car insurance, cosmetics, gasoline, and so on. Brand Keys constantly asks American men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 about their shopping habits. The responses reveal how brand-loyal customers are to certain companies and what the relative value of each brand is. (To learn more about the methodology, click here.)
In the recently released 2011 Customer Loyalty Leaders Index, Hyundai came in at #1 in the automotive sector and 7th overall -- not too shabby. Its nearest competitor in the automotive field was Toyota, which slid from #37 overall to #59. Ford was the only other automaker to break the top 100, clocking in at #86. (That may not sound too great, but considering that in 2010 Ford ranked #323, the company's climb is very, very impressive.)
What's interesting is that back in January, when Brand Keys issued rankings by sector, Ford was #2, and Toyota was stuck in a tie for the #7 spot with Jeep. In other words, Ford and Toyota have been burning the midnight oil, trying to get back in the public's good graces. To be sure, both have a long way to go before they overtake the top three brands -- currently Amazon, Apple, and Facebook -- but they earn As for effort.