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Toyota Reclaims Top Spot

Kelley Blue Book's, a top provider of new car and used car information, reports that Toyota redeemed its No. 1 spot for brand loyalty on for Q4 2011. Toyota last appeared in the top position in Q3 2010.

For Q4 2011, Toyota's brand shopping loyalty was at 50.6 percent, a 2.7 percentage point jump from Q3 2011, with Hyundai close behind at 50.2 percent. Ford, which moved to the third position from No. 5 for Q4 2011, is at 47.1 percent brand loyalty. In addition, Kia continues to hold the fourth spot from the previous quarter at 46.5 percent, while Honda takes the fifth position at 46.4 percent.

"Hyundai was No. 1 in loyalty for the past two quarters thanks to its strong redesigns, attractive value and the struggles of the Japanese brands with safety perception and supply issues," said Akshay Anand, market intelligence Web analyst for Kelley Blue Book's "However, Toyota has done a laudable job overcoming these issues, introducing programs such as 'Toyota Care,' while getting its supply back online. The redesign of its flagship, the 2012 Toyota Camry, also helped drive interest to the brand and retain owners."

After a brief dip, Honda jumped back into the top five with Subaru falling to No. 6 in Q4 2011 from No. 3 in the previous quarter. Honda's reappearance among the top five can be attributed to the pushed-up Civic refresh, the new CR-V redesign and resolved supply problems.

Piggybacking on Toyota's success, Lexus is represented as the top luxury brand on the brand loyalty list at position eight, with Audi at No. 9, followed by Mercedes-Benz in the eleventh position.
"All in all, there are positive trends for automakers," said Anand. "Traditional leaders like Toyota are leaving the problems in the past and looking toward bright futures, while new players such as Hyundai, Kia and Audi remain forces to be reckoned with in the American automotive industry."

Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence examines brand loyalty while consumers are still in the shopping phase.  For this analysis, loyalty is defined as owners of the brand who are currently shopping the same brand for their next vehicle.  This includes data from consumers who view a trade-in page or private party page in addition to a new-car page on Kelley Blue Book's

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