Luxury-car brand loyalty mostly falling, but Tesla’s goes up

The electric-vehicle automaker enjoys more loyalty than any other luxury or mainstream brand, says a new report

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While many luxury auto brands have seen their customers’ brand loyalty shrink over the last year, Tesla not only enjoyed a rise that more than doubled, but it now stands at the highest brand loyalty of any automaker, luxury or mainstream.

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That’s according to research from US analysis company IHS Markit, a division of S&P Global, which tracked the rise or fall of buyer brand loyalty from May 2021 to May 2022. It’s the percentage of people who, when buying or leasing a new vehicle, select the same brand or same model of the vehicle they last bought or leased.

Tesla finished at 63% brand loyalty in May 2022, up from 29.4% a year earlier and marking a 29% increase.

Tesla’s rise was actually tempered by the fact that the survey averaged the numbers nationally across the US In six California markets – San Diego, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Monterey – Tesla’s customer brand loyalty was higher than 80%. It was also above its 63% national number among customers in Miami, Cleveland, and Santa Barbara.

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The survey also found that in May of 2022, Tesla marked its ninth consecutive month with loyalty that topped 60%, and during a period when all automakers were faced with vehicle-inventory shortages, due to microchips and other supply-chain issues.

Among the twenty luxury brands examined in the study, Lincoln was the only other automaker to increase its loyalty over that period, rising 6.9% over the year, from 44% to 51%. Among those that fell by double-digit percentages were Acura, down 21%; Land Rover, down 14.6%; and Jaguar, which fell by 13.2%. The smallest losses were at Porsche, down 0.3%; Mercedes-Benz which fell by 0.5%; and Maserati was down 1.0%.

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While all of Tesla’s models increased their sales over the period, the company’s numbers rely primarily on the Model 3, which accounts for 51% of customer retention.

The Model 3 also ranks high in customer retention among us all models from all automakers, premium or mainstream, but it isn’t quite the top dog — that honor goes to the Ford Edge, with 71.2% of owners willing to buy another. The Model 3 comes in second at 67.9%. It’s followed, in order, by the Toyota Corolla, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Toyota Corolla Cross, Chevrolet Equinox, Tesla Model X, Lincoln Nautilus, Chevrolet Trax, and finally the Ford Bronco at 64.8%.


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