Saturn Ion, GM Score in Loyalty Study

2007 Ion Red Line

Saturn's Ion and General Motors were big winners in the 2007 Polk Automotive Loyalty survey. The report measures loyalty throughout the entire model year so that manufacturers can keep abreast of loyalty trends as they occur in the industry. The Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards recognize manufacturers for superior owner loyalty performance. Loyalty is determined when a household that owns a new vehicle returns to market and purchases or leases another new vehicle of the same model or make.

The compact Saturn was named the top vehicle in the small car category with a loyalty rating of 23.5% (segment average was 15.2%). The Ion was a repeat winner as it also won the award in 2006.

General Motors won the overall manufacturer award by demonstrating the greatest ability to retain previous customers for a record eighth consecutive year. In addition to the Ion, GM also received awards for its Chevrolet Suburban, Silverado, Impala, Pontiac Solstice, and Cadillac Escalade for the 2007 model year, which ended September 30th.

"Being able to retain your customers over time with great products and after-the-sale service has always been a key factor to attaining success. GM and Toyota have proven that they know what it takes to keep customers coming back to their brands," said Stephen R. Polk, chairman, president and CEO of R. L. Polk & Co. "GM won a total of seven awards, including three vehicles that have won for the first time, which is a great testament to their overall manufacturer loyalty."

Toyota was also a big winner, taking repeat honors in the Overall Make category award for posting the highest make loyalty to an automotive division. It was also recognized with five segment loyalty awards. Toyota Prius repeated as the midsize car segment winner and Toyota Tacoma repeated as the compact pickup segment winner. Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota, was a repeat winner in the midsize SUV segment for its Lexus RX, marking the third consecutive win. The Lexus ES was a first time winner in the luxury car segment and Lexus LS was a five time winner in the prestige luxury car segment.

Overall for the industry, make loyalty for the 2007 model year was 44.84%. Recent studies by Polk show consumers are consistently more loyal to Asian brands (47.98%), compared to European (38.13%) and domestic makes (43.74%).

Other vehicles capturing loyalty honors were the Chrysler Town & Country in the minivan category, Honda CR-V in the compact SUV category and the Jaguar XK in the prestige sports car category.

Source: R. L. Polk and Company

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