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Subaru and Lexus buyers are most loyal to brands, J.D. Power study says

The latest Automotive Brand Loyalty Study shows it's becoming tougher for brands to coax buyers away from their rivals.

2020 Subaru Outback
Subaru owners really love their Subies.
Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Chances are pretty high that Subaru and Lexus owners will buy or lease another vehicle from the same brand when it comes time. That's the main takeaway from the 2020 J.D. Power Automotive Brand Loyalty Study.

The study, now in its second year, calculates brand loyalty based on the percentage of owners who stick with the same brand when trading in their current car or purchasing another one. It also accounts for any model year a customer trades in, though data collected comes from June 2019 to May 2020.

A whopping 60.5% of Subaru owners go ahead and purchase another Subaru, which makes it the brand with the most loyal customers among mass-market car companies. Lexus tops the luxury chart with a 48% loyalty rate, according to the study.

Don't mess with Lexus (buyers).

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

But Subaru just barely squeezes into the top spot, with Toyota at 60.3%. Honda (58.7%), Ram (57.3%) and Ford (54.3%) round out the top five. On the luxury side of things, Mercedes-Benz keeps it close to Lexus with a 47.8% loyalty rate. BMW (45.1%), Porsche (44.9%) and Audi (43.4%) make up the top five luxury car brands with the most loyal customers.

2020 JD Power Brand Loyalty

Here are the full rankings.

2020 JD Power Automotive Brand Loyalty Study

Who's at the bottom? The answers aren't totally surprising, but Fiat ranks last for mass-market brands with just 10.4% purchasing another car from the brand. Jaguar sits at the bottom of the luxury chart with only 20.7% owners pulling the trigger on another British premium car.

Aside from the raw numbers, J.D. Power said its research shows it's becoming increasingly difficult for automakers to court new buyers into a brand. That's especially true as automakers offer considerable payment assistance and programs to help owners and lessees as the coronavirus pandemic continues. The organization said payment relief and deferral plans can be just the thing to make a lasting impression on customers to keep them for the considerable future.

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