Irvine-based Kelley Blue Book (KBB) reports Fountain Valley-based Hyundai has maintained the most loyal customers for two consecutive quarters. However, Kbb.com representatives say Toyota is gaining speed. Hyundai’s brand loyalty was 48 percent in the third quarter and Toyota came in a close second with 47.9 percent. Hyundai’s loyalty dropped nearly 4.5 percent in the third quarter, which Kbb.com attributes to a cooled interested in the automakers popular Sonata and Elantra models.
"The latter half of the year tends to draw interest toward sport utility, crossover and other large vehicles due to weather conditions and seasonality," said Arthur Henry, market intelligence manager for kbb.com. "Since Hyundai's flagship vehicles are its compact and mid-size sedans, it is natural that it suffers in this regard."
Subaru came in third with 45.9 percent and Irvine-based Kia nabbed the fourth ranking with a 45.3 percent loyalty.
For the first time since KBB started tracking brand loyalty the company is reporting Honda has fallen from the top five ranking. Representatives from KBB say it’s due to poor reception of the 2012 Honda Civic.
Most automakers have seen a drop in year-over-year sales, according to KBB. However, the firm reports brand loyalty and sales are on the rise as the end of the year approaches. Representatives say a quarter-over-quarter shift in the black could mean consumers are responding to blowout sales and loyalty incentives.
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