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Customer Loyalty: What Luxury Brands Rank Best, According to J.D. Power?

For an automaker, no matter what segment they’re in, customer loyalty is worth its weight in gold. When a vehicle owner is satisfied with their brand, and comes back a second time to buy, then a third and fourth, it’s money in the bank for the manufacturer.

Which luxury brands benefit from the strongest customer loyalty? If you had to guess, would you pick BMW? Porsche? Lexus?

Research firm J.D. Power undertook a new study this year to try to pinpoint which brands did the best job compelling owners to come back for seconds and thirds. Here’s what the results showed, in the luxury-vehicle segment.

2019 Lexus ES 350 F-Sport
Photo: D.Boshouwers
2019 Lexus ES 350 F-Sport

The top performer is Lexus, with a loyalty rate of 47.6%. Nearly one in two Lexus buyers is therefore satisfied enough with their vehicle that they will return to the brand next time around. The Japanese automaker is followed by German brands Mercedes-Benz at 44.2%, BMW at 43.6% and, just off the podium, Porsche with a 43.5% retention rate. Rounding out the top 5 is yet another German brand: Audi’s products convince 43.3% of owners to come back for more.

Following them in the premium-carmaker rankings are, in order, Land Rover (40.3%), Maserati (38%), Acura (36.1%), Lincoln (35.5%), Cadillac (34.1%), Volvo (33.3%), Infiniti (32.1%), and lastly Jaguar (20.6%).

Two elements drew our attention from this ranking. First off, Acura, which has seen its customer satisfaction ratings drop over the past few years, no longer benefits from the reputation it enjoyed 20 years ago. The other notable point is the gulf that exists between laggard Jaguar and the next-worst performers. It must be a sobering slap in the face to see that only one in five of your customers deem it worthwhile to return to you for their next car purchase.

Photo: D.Heyman

There are brands absent from this ranking of premium brands, but they have been omitted by J.D. Power due to insufficient data.

Consult as well the results of J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study, but with a focus on mass-market brands.

Photo: J.D. Power