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Customer loyalty exists in every market segment, but for truck owners in the U.S., it has reached an all-time high, according to a new study from Edmunds.com.
The study findings come in the midst of October’s traditional “Truck Month,” and shed new light relative to how highly regarded trucks are among American owners and shoppers.
Specifically, no brand represents this record customer loyalty performance better than Toyota.
Truck loyalty – which is defined as the rate of truck trade-ins that went toward the purchase of another truck – was at 74% through the first nine months of 2016. By comparison, the next highest loyalty rates were vans at 52% and compact SUVs, which checked in at 47.3%. This year’s truck loyalty rate is higher than at any other time since Edmunds started tracking trade-ins in 2005.
To enhance its digital offerings, last year Toyota partnered with Alliance Data Systems to improve the customer experience. Through the partnership, Toyota launched a new private label credit card that will help dealerships build more personalized relationships with drivers.
The co-branded private label credit card for Toyota will rely on Alliance Data’s analytical capabilities to create tailored customer engagement and loyalty solutions by levering a host of customer-centric insights.
"Truck owners are especially passionate about their vehicles, most likely because trucks offer hauling and cargo capabilities that you just cannot find in any other vehicle segment," says Edmunds.com Sr. Analyst Ivan Drury. "Today's trucks are particularly appealing because manufacturers pack them with more luxury and technology features than ever before. These options just weren't available on trucks in years past. It also doesn't hurt that today's low gas prices make truck ownership much more economical than just a few years ago."
Toyota edged out Chevrolet, Ram, and Ford to earn the highest level of customer loyalty. Chevy truck owners checked in at 69.5% with Ram owners at 68.1%.
Toyota’s strong loyalty is primarily attributed to its popular midsize Toyota Tacoma. According to the study, nearly 75% of Tacoma trade-ins this year have gone toward the purchase of another Tacoma. The Toyota Tundra made the list of Most Reliable Trucks in J.D. Power’s 2016 study.
Trucks have accounted for 15.1% of all new sales this year through September, the highest share since 2007 (17%). The current customer loyalty to trucks is especially surprising given that their average transaction price ($43,277 in 2016) has climbed a staggering 46% since 2006.
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