The Polk Company released its mid-year consumer automotive loyalty rankings, revealing the fact that the Jeep Grand Cherokee has the most "owner loyalty" in the SUV category. The rankings are a semi-annual update of Polk's automotive loyalty information, with the fourth-annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Award winners slated to be announced during the 2000 North American International Auto Show in January.
The Grand Cherokee has an owner loyalty of 31.5% with the average industry loyalty being 22.5%. The Jeep Grand Cherokee recaptured the lead from the Ford Explorer during the six-month period. The model loyalty performance for the Grand Cherokee increased by more than 10 percentage points over the 1998 model year. Its current percentage is higher than it was at the end of the 1997 model year -- the year it won the Polk Award for the SUV segment.
``Automotive manufacturers are doing more than ever before to retain their customers,'' said Piurkowski. ``Owner loyalty rebates and relationship-building programs are becoming the necessary element in today's competitive marketplace. Plus, with the increased value and personal attention they bring from the manufacturers, consumers are hoping these programs are offered with greater frequency.''
The source of this information is Polk's Manufacturer Loyalty Excelerator study, which provides the latest insight into this type of consumer behavior. This study was introduced to the automotive industry in 1995 and was created to provide household loyalty information to manufacturers at many different levels. It is used to determine the Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards; to provide loyalty percentages for the entire automotive industry; to allow for cross-industry comparisons of loyalty behavior; and to examine loyalty at various levels -- e.g. from the industry level down to the vehicle line level. The study measures loyalty throughout the entire model year so that manufacturers may keep abreast of loyalty trends as they occur in the industry.