Toyota regains top grade in brand loyalty survey
Toyota has struggled mightily in recent years - swamped by massive recalls, earthquake damage to its factories and a worldwide financial collapse. A recent consumer study shows that American car leasing shoppers have finally embraced the company again, returning Toyota to the top spot in an owner loyalty survey.
The manufacturer climbed back into the number-one rank of brand loyalty for the fourth quarter of 2011, the first time it has hit that spot since the third quarter of 2010, according to vehicle lease researchers at Kelley Blue Book.
Toyota bumped Hyundai out of the top grade by a hair, edging its rival in the brand shopping loyalty score by a margin of 50.6 percent to 50.2 percent.
"Hyundai was No. 1 in loyalty for the past two quarters thanks to its strong redesigns, attractive value and the struggles of the Japanese brands with safety perception and supply issues," said Akshay Anand, Kelley's market intelligence web analyst. "However, Toyota has done a laudable job overcoming these issues, introducing programs such as 'Toyota Care,' while getting its supply back online. The redesign of its flagship, the 2012 Toyota Camry, also helped drive interest to the brand and retain owners."
Ford finished third at 47.1 percent brand loyalty, ahead of Kia at 46.5 percent and Honda at 46.4 percent.
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