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Ford Tops in Brand Loyalty in 1st Quarter
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The Ford brand had the auto industry’s highest loyalty rate among new-vehicle buyers in the first quarter, followed by Mercedes-Benz and Toyota, a new study of sales data found.

IHS Automotive said of the customers who purchased a new Ford car or light truck in the past 10 years and returned to a showroom in the first quarter of 2014, 64 percent either traded for another Ford brand vehicle or added a Ford brand vehicle to their existing household.

Mercedes-Benz and Toyota trailed Ford with a loyalty rate of 57.8 percent each in the first quarter. They were followed by Nissan, Chevrolet, Subaru, Honda, BMW, Lexus and Hyundai.

Overall, brand loyalty slipped slightly to 51 percent in the first quarter, IHS said.

The market research firm studied 1.8 million new-vehicle transactions in which a household returned to the market and purchased a new car or light truck in the first quarter.

Lincoln, Jeep, Mitsubishi, Fiat and Smart posted the biggest gains in loyalty during the period, IHS said.

Brands that improved customer loyalty rates mostly reaped U.S. market share gains, too.

Jeep, Nissan and Subaru posted the biggest gains in loyalty and market share during the period, IHS said.

Brands with the largest conquests relative to defections were Mitsubishi, Jaguar, Lincoln, Jeep and Lexus, IHS said.

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