Brand loyalty in a product is among the most prized things a company can have. Loyal consumers are repeat buyers and, therefore, buyers a company does not have to replace. They are a foundation to build on. However, companies with brands that drive little loyalty find themselves having to replace customers who leave just to keep the current sales level.
The car industry is the same as most others in these regards, although the number of manufacturers is so large that the tug-of-war for drivers is unusually aggressive. One car brand has so little loyalty that it is about to disappear from the U.S. market.
Well-regarded car research firm J.D. Power surveys consumers every year about product dependability, initial quality and performance. One of its most important single studies is the U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study. Results for the 2019 poll were just released. Tyson Jominy, J.D. Power’s Vice President of Data & Analytics, commented, “Customer loyalty is perhaps the most important metric for manufacturers because it incorporates many factors that lead customers to become brand ambassadors. When a brand can connect emotionally with owners through the vehicle’s content, capabilities or prestige level, owners are much more likely to come back and purchase that same brand again.”
The luxury car brand that buyers were least likely to come back to was Jaguar. The brand loyalty rate for Jaguar was 20.6%. Customer loyalty numbers were derived from the percentage of vehicle owners who choose the same brand when they trade or purchase their next vehicle. The luxury brand with the highest loyalty rate was Lexus, the Toyota division, at 47.6%, but many fared poorly. These are all the best new cars brands of 2019.
Jaguar’s lack of loyal customers has cost it and its parent company Tata Motors dearly. Jaguar sold only 1,892 cars in the United States in June, down 20% from the same month in 2018. The Jaguar F-Pace crossover, a key to its meager success because of the popularity of crossovers overall, was rated as one of Consumer Report’s “least reliable” vehicles. Tata’s Jaguar Land Rover division posted heavy losses last year, and the situation has not improved much in 2019.
Every year there is a long list of vehicles and brands that customers have turned away from. Many times it shows a shift in trends manufacturers simply failed to notice. These are the cars Americans don’t want to buy again.