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Brand Loyalty


Pumpkin Pilot
Staff member
Elite Explorer
February 8, 1999
Reaction score
City, State
Wayoutin, Aridzona
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XL '20 ST

By Kristopher Spencer, FCN

Building brand loyalty is essential to maintaining strong market share, and 2005 trade-in sales data collected by J.D. Power & Associates' Power Information Network (PIN) showed Ford's brand loyalty is approximately two percentage points higher than the industry average.

"Trade-in sales data is the most robust indicator that we have," said Robert Parker, Ford car marketing manager, adding that "in garage" surveys also aid in determining brand loyalty.

Automakers, including Ford, have a keen interest in trade-in data, which may reveal consumer model preferences, duration of ownership cycles and the ebb and flow of brand loyalty.

PIN data for 2005 show that consumers who trade in the larger, utilitarian vehicles in Ford’s line-up, such as F-Series trucks, Econoline vans and large sport utility vehicles, are more likely to purchase another Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle. The same has not always been true for Ford’s passenger cars, according to Parker, who noted that the arrival of the Fusion might change that.

"The Fusion will give us a fully competitive product in the medium car segment. This segment represents over two million units annually and we've been conspicuously absent for five years," Parker said. "Having a full complement of cars, which we now have, will help us grow brand loyalty."

Parker added that the Freestyle crossover also fills a critical role in the Ford portfolio, particularly for buyers getting out of SUVs who still want the utility but with a car-like ride and improved fuel economy.

Ford's 2005 loyalty average of approximately 51 percent suggests that more than half of consumers who trade in a Ford purchase another Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle to replace it. That number is about a percentage point higher for Lincoln, but slightly below 50 percent for Mercury, but is four points lower than Ford had in 2004.

Excluding newer models, the Lincoln and Mercury vehicles with the highest loyalty ratings based on trade-ins are the Town Car, Navigator, Grand Marquis and Mountaineer.

Comparatively, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lag behind such General Motors brands as GMC, Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and Hummer, as well as Toyota and its luxury division, Lexus. The highest loyalty rating for any mainstream automaker is GMC, with 65 percent of trade-ins resulting in another GMC purchase, and the lowest of any mainstream automaker is Isuzu, with only 5 percent repeat customers.

Among Ford's Premier Automotive Group Volvo rated the highest, but only with 27 percent success rate on trade-ins (data for Aston Martin was not available). Similar data for Mazda shows its loyalty rating is below 20 percent.

In a bid to increase brand loyalty as well as conquest sales Ford hosts "Innovation Drives" around the country. Customers are invited to these events to test drive all of Ford's vehicles, typically on a designated track like a speedway.

"We've found that the buy rate is significantly higher for customers who participate in these events," Parker said.

David Spindler, a retail satisfaction and ownership loyalty manager for Ford Marketing, Sales & Service, found support for the PIN data in a 2005 New Vehicle Customer Study, but maintains that the company still has work to do in building brand loyalty.

"In the past few years our loyalty has been slipping, but with our new portfolio of vehicles we'll hopefully reverse the trend and grow our loyalty," Spindler said. "Building brand loyalty starts by getting consumers behind the wheel, and the good press we’re getting for our new vehicles stands to attract a wider array of vehicle buyers."

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I have loved all of my Fords. My whole family owns them.

Me - '99 Explorer, '86 Bronco II
Father - '05 Explorer
Mother - '95 F150
Brother - '99 Expedition
Sister - '99 F150
Brother-in-law - A fleet of 10 '03,'04 and '05 F350s and 450s
My aunts, uncles and cusins all own Fords too... :thumbsup:

You could say my family is pretty loyal to Ford
1926 Model T-Dad
1948 2Door Sedan-Dad
1951 F-1-Dad
1969 F-100-Dad
1983 Ranger(turbo)-Brother
1990 Festiva-Dad
1993 Probe GT-Me
1994 Probe GT-Me
1994 Ranger-Brother
1995 Probe GT-Me(selling to sister)
1997 Explorer-Me
2004 Freestar-Mom

Grandparents, Tempo and F-150
Uncle, 4 Ford trucks for business, Mountaineer and Navigator

My family has always had a ford running, but now all of our active cars are Ford.

93 Explorer - Brother
95 Explorer - Me
05 Explorer - Mom
05 Mustang GT - Dad

Within GM, Buick probably has the most repeat buyers

F14CRAZY said:
Within GM, Buick probably has the most repeat buyers
Yeah, old people don't like change :p

I'm loyal to Ford but Ford isn't the only brand I'd buy. There are brands I won't buy from, however. GM and Asian car manufacturers.