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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Jun 18 2012, 3:32 PM

From the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s, there was no question that Honda was an enthusiast oriented brand. This was not only reflected in it’s product portfolio, especially the likes of the Civic, CRX and Prelude, but also in its marketing campaigns and motorsports programs.

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 |  Dec 16 2010, 3:05 PM

Automakers know how important customer loyalty is to the success of their companies. That’s why the good ones concentrate not only on making a safe and reliable vehicle, but one that’s fun to drive as well, and then back it up with great service. And J.D. Power is on top of which automakers are doing just that with their 2010 Customer Retention Study that shows which car buyers coming back for more.

New-vehicle owners are increasingly citing fun-to-drive vehicles as a top reason to remain loyal to their brand, while shifting away from expected resale value. Topping the list are Ford and Honda in a tie with a 62 percent rate of customer retention. Following close behind are Hyundai, Lexus and Toyota with a rate of 60 percent each.

The study shows that import manufacturers have the edge on the domestics but that gap is closing, thanks in part to customers realizing that American automakers are producing a greater number of good products. In the study, nine of the top 10 automakers are imports.

The automaker with the biggest jump is Kia, which has climbed the most compared to the 2009 study. They have jumped 21 percentage points, and is now seeing a retention of 58 percent (that’s 10 points above the industry average).

In addition to customer retention, the study also looks at the rates at which automotive brands capture customers from their competitors (this is known as conquesting). The importance of a fun-to-drive vehicle has also risen as a reason why brands conquest new customers from their competitors, as has vehicle styling.