Sometimes its seems as if there are as many ways to measure automotive quality as there are automakers. For the Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards, for example, the focus is on achieving high levels of customer retention, which means that "Owners had such a positive overall experience that they came back to buy another vehicle of the same model, make, or manufacturer."
And during calendar-year 2013, it was the Ford Motor Company that was honored for "Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer," helped by the fact that the Ford division itself was recognized for "Overall Loyalty to Make." Both were repeat winners, too, despite the fact that their only individual honoree was the Ford F-150. It actually was Toyota that had the highest number of segment leaders in last year's ranking, with four from the Toyota division and two from the Lexus brand.
This year's data also provided a more in-depth look at customer retention by key demographic measures: As they did during 2012, the Ford and Toyota brands had the highest loyalty scores for the "African American" and "Asian" markets, while Toyota further led the way in terms of loyalty in the "Hispanic" market.
Individual vehicles receiving 2013 Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards from IHS Automotive were:
- Toyota Prius—Non-Luxury Traditional Compact Car
- Honda Accord—Non-Luxury Traditional Mid-Size Car
- Honda-CR-V—Non-Luxury Compact CUV
- Ford F-150—Non-Luxury Full-Size Half-Ton Pickup
- Kia Sorento—Non-Luxury Mid-Size CUV
- Jeep Grand Cherokee—Non-Luxury Mid-Size SUV
- Fiat 50—Non-Luxury Traditional Sub-Compact Car
- Chrysler Town & Country—Non-Luxury Mid-size Van
- Toyota Avalon—Non-Luxury Traditional Full-Size Car
- Lexus RX—Luxury Mid-Size CUV
- Toyota Tacoma—Non-Luxury Mid-Size Pickup
- Dodge Challenger—Non-Luxury Sport Mid-Size Car
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class—Luxury Traditional Compact Car
- Mercedes-Benz E-Class—Luxury Traditional Mid-Size Car
- Toyota Land Cruiser—Non-Luxury Full-Size SUV
- Acura RDX—Luxury Compact CUV
- Hyundai Veloster—Non-Luxury Sport Car
- Jeep Wrangler—Non-Luxury Compact SUV
- Mercedes-Benz SL-Class—Luxury Sport Car
- Land Rover Range Rover—Luxury Full-Size SUV
- Lexus LS—Luxury Traditional Full-Size Car
- Lexus CT200h—Luxury Traditional Sub-Compact Car
- Mercedes-Benz G-Class—Luxury Mid-Size SUV
- McLaren MP4—Luxury Exotic Car
- Rolls-Royce Phantom—Luxury Prestige Full-Size Car
As a flip side to all this, it's worth noting that a lot of folks believe that attracting new customers—"conquesting" them—is at least as important as retaining the old ones, and Polk did report two leaders in this category. Audi had the "Highest Conquest Percent of Registrations" and Subaru boasted the "Most Improved Conquest Percent of Registrations."