Toyota Customers Are the Most Loyal of Any Brand

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Toyota 4Runner

A reputation for reliability and quality, combined with a nice mix of SUVs, keeps Toyota customers coming back.

Loyalty in the automotive business isn’t what it used to be. Today, we’ve got more choices than ever, and even the least formidable nameplates are making some pretty darn good vehicles. So it says a lot when you, as an automaker, can claim to have the most loyal customers in the business. And that honorable distinction now belongs to Toyota.

Toyota Tacoma

According to the 2018 Edmunds Trade-In Loyalty Report, no brand’s customers stuck with a single nameplate as much as Toyota. The study covered a whopping 13.9 million transactions over the last decade. Last year, 63% of current Toyota owners traded their vehicle in for another Toyota, up from 58% in 2007. Undoubtedly, this rabid loyalty has much to do with the automaker’s reputation for reliability and quality.

Of course, this report only takes into account trade-ins and nothing else. We suspect that Toyota would fare even better if private sales and lease returns were included, but that data is much more difficult to obtain. It’s also worth noting that the lowly passenger car hit its lowest point in eight years, accounting for only 36 percent of all vehicles sold last year.

Toyota Land Cruiser

Also for the first time ever, crossovers and SUVs overtook trucks in customer loyalty. SUV loyalty reached a new high of 75%, while trucks came in at 74%. Passenger cars, meanwhile, dropped all the way to 57%. It’s a sharp contrast from a decade ago, when SUV loyalty reached its all-time low as gas prices rose to record levels.

So what will it take for automakers to retain/gain customer loyalty? According to Edmunds, the secret recipe is to ““leverage emotional design, offer a wide array of SUVs and have a solid history of reliability.” All of which are boxes that Toyota already checks, so the future looks pretty bright!

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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