Just How Loyal Are GM Brand Customers? Latest JD Power Study Has Answers21
Advertisers like to call it “word-of-mouth” advertising. That is, where the owner of a product does nothing but spread good messages to friends and family about the particular product. We all do it, but perhaps we’re not aware how often it happens in the automotive world.
Now, J.D. Power has a study to measure just how loyal vehicle owners are to the brand they purchased from. This year marks the inaugural Automotive Brand Loyalty Study with data captured between June 2018 and May 2019. Here, “customer loyalty” is defined as “the percentage of vehicle owners who chose the same brand when trading in or purchasing their next vehicle.”
For luxury brands, Lexus comes out on top, followed by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, and Audi to round out the top five. It isn’t until we look at 10th place that we see where Cadillac sits. GM’s luxury division is only ahead of Volvo, Infiniti, and Jaguar. The rankings suggest Cadillac lessees or owners aren’t nearly as likely as German luxury brand owners to step into another Cadillac. Instead, Cadillac owners take their business elsewhere, more often than not.
For mass-market brands, it’s Subaru that wins. Toyota, Honda, Ram, and Ford comprise the top five here. In seventh place is Chevrolet; GMC sits in 13th; Buick is toward the bottom in 16th place. Chevrolet ranks ahead of some rivals such as Hyundai Nissan, and Volkswagen, but interestingly trails Kia. Another fun statistic: Jeep owners are more loyal than GMC owners, based on this data. Bottom dwellers include Chrysler, Dodge, and Smart. The latter will be phased out of the U.S. market soon, however.
Since this is the first year for this study, it will be mighty interesting to watch things play out in the years to come. One thing almost seems certain, however, that GM customers aren’t as loyal as they once were.
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Once upon a time, GM had the industry’s most loyal customers and Cadillac buyers were especially loyal buying a new one every year or two.
If you like your car and want another one, it’s too bad because GM shut down that particular factory and canceled the model.
I was in the market for a GMC Canyon and found during the purchasing process that I would have gotten $1500 more off if I owned a none GM vehicle. Im a GM employee and only own GM products and the salesman repeatedly asked me if I owned a none GM vehicle so I could get the money off. After about 3 times of asking i said, sir, i do not own anything like that! So much for GM loyalty
Yes they have had that offer. But they also have had month with loyalty discounts too. It has gone both ways.
To clarify some things in this article, the statement that Cadillac owners choose another brand “more often as not “ is actually true of every single luxury brand in the survey. Also the survey does not look at if they go to another brand from the same company. Chrysler has the minivan and the 300 so if you move to a Jeep or ram you are not “loyal” in the survey. What I would worry about if I was GM is that Ram owners ARE buying Ram again “more often than not “ so all those customers that they are losing are not coming back.
I moved from Jeep to Alfa Romeo and am no longer a “loyal customer”. Yet both brands are owned by FCA.
Also, the fact that Cadillac buyers are the least loyal doesn’t shock me. Cadillac used to be the pinnacle of the auto industry and now they are clearly behind Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Alfa, Lincoln, Lexus. And with Acura currently revamping their offerings, they are in danger of having an inferior product to them too.
GM has a bad attitude when it comes to building vehicles and serving customers. You can’t let cost cutters determine what your going to sell, you need to build vehicles customers want. Another way to put it, cancel production of a Lacrosse and expect that customer to be happy in a new Envision, hello Lexus.
Quality has also gone downhill, the 8 speed transmission fiasco and the fact that they’re not cheap.
I have been diehard GM since I was a kid, no more! I have a driveway full of Chevys, two trucks, 95 and 12 Impalas, 15 Buick Verano and now 17 Ford Taurus. That is the first Ford I have ever owned and it came down to price and the car isn’t that bad! GM can thank their better incentive package and quality issues for driving me away to Ford. Sometimes I wonder if they really want to be in business anymore!
Do you really need JD Power to show GM owners aren’t very loyal. Forty years of piss poor management and lost market share tells you all you need to know.
At 59 years old all I have owned are GM vehicles and I’ve never owned a bad one. Certainly nothing that would make me run down the street to a Japanese or Korean brand.
What irritates me more than anything is the lack of vision, the ruination of the divisions and constant changing of nameplates. I’m tired of plants closing in the U.S. while assembling more in Mexico and China.
I have nothing but the utmost respect for the UAW employees that put my vehicles together and the engineering teams that tried to build the best vehicle they could within the bean counters purse strings. Management why are you so lost?
Funny, the above comments are rather diverse, but I agree with every one of them. I’m not sure how to take this new survey and it’s results. So I am applying it to me personally and how I feel. Although I’m a GM guy for the most part, I’ve probably owner more Chrysler products over the years than GM (new cars that is). I consider myself a Jeep guy more than anything. So when I went from my Chevrolet to the Jeep in 2016, it felt good to make the move for some reason. Then in 2018 when it was time to trade, I really tried to buy another Jeep. But the price was higher than I was happy with. Zero owner loyalty program, but the discounts were quite good. Yet I really liked (and now do like) the Buick Encore, so after getting a price that was even better than the Jeep with more equipment, I went with the Buick. Am I happy with it? Absolutely. Has the Buick been near perfect? Yes. Yet there is a very good chance I will move back to a Jeep next time as long as the price is right.
So how would this look within this new survey? I don’t know. The best I can come up with is that, like me, most people are driven more by the price than by the product. I know Cadillac leases have not been nor are they strong. So if someone is coming out of a Cadillac lease that they like perfectly well but the new lease is just too high, will they defect and go with the cheaper lease payment brand? I think so.
Is there a linq to the survey?
The reality is most customers are no longer loyal outside Honda and Toyota. Good or bad they keep going back because it is all they know. The rest can fluctuate depending on what is offered and if there has been an issue or pricing.
I know many Kia and Hyundai owners who bought due to the low prices but after issues never went back.
Cadillac is a mix of mixed messages as they have had little focus on product to even consider building a loyal base.
With the addition of the CUV models that are all the same we will see different names on this list every year as many will just swap back and fourth with who has the latest and what is priced the cheapest.
With as high as prices are that is a major decision on what people buy anymore.
Buick is least loyal as they are pretty much forgotten. The SUV models sell but the cars no one wants anymore and the customers went else where. It is a transition.
I have owned ford,and one Chrysler, over the years, but all my other vehicles have been GM. Never have I had a lemon. That being said, I`m very disappointed in the apparent lack of quality in GM now. My Avalanche Black Diamond had a door handle fall off in my hand… The AC has quit! The leather seat has a split in it (I weight 110 lbs)….My old 98 Yukon SLT has leather seats, no splits in them! Had to replace both inside door handles on the Sierra….and believe it or not, the replacement was already defective when the dealer rec`d it! Sooo, I`m thinking GM`s vehicles are over priced for what we are now receiving!
GM lost me. I went from always having 3 GM cars to only one, a 90 SS454 truck. GM doesn’t respect their custoners or GM workers. Screw-em.
GM isn’t loyal to its client base – so why should they be loyal to GM?
I come from a long-standing GM family – and have only owned GM myself – but the only things keeping my next purchase GM are familiarity with the user interface and dealership staff – as well as GM Card earnings.
I have a 2014 CTS which is now at the end of its lease. I would love to buy another Cadillac, but this is the situation:
– Where I live (in Europe) there used to be 6 or 7 dealers. We are down to 2 dealers since Opel was sold to PSA. The nearest one is a 2 hours drive from where I live. It used to be 45 mins. The 2 remaining ones also sell Opel and are at danger of discontinuing Cadillac as well.
– I was very interested in the upcoming CT 5. But it’s smaller than my CTS (E-segment), it’s not really beautiful (C-pillar), and offers less luxury amenities, and far less power. It’s also not imported to Europe, so not an option.
– GM Authority learns me I should take the CT 6, which is the new E-segment offering. OK but that car is in danger of being discontinued. I would LOVE to have a CT6, but why buy a car for which I won’t have any spare parts as from next year (at least in Europe)?
– GM for years said they would re-launch Cadillac in Europe as from 2019 with new Diesel engines… but no word of it as soon as we entered 2019. So the only option left here is the 3.0 TT. However, the 3.0 TT is not appearing in any other offering, so likely to be discontinued as well… and heavily taxed where I live.
– JDN always positioned Cadillac as a BMW beater. Now Cadillac wants to be “something else” (cf. Carlisle) but no idea what that “something else” will be.
So it’s not that customers don’t want to be loyal, it’s that Cadillac is not loyal towards their customers !
It’s a real pity as I have been super glad with my CTS. It never broke down, and has superb styling. I really want to buy another Cadillac, but Cadillac is making it (almost) impossible for me.
It is not loyalty that keeps me with Chevrolet (Colorado). I buy ONLY because of OnStar. I travel alone a lot and I have peace of mind with OnStar. Otherwise, I would be driving a Ford F-150, which has ALL the safety features I want and need. I am NOT a loyal Chevrolet customer and Chevrolet could care less about its customers. If it did, it would have had these safety features years ago.
In 2020 I purchased a Colorado with a five-speed manual transmission. In 2019 I gave my truck to my grand son as a graduation present. It had 10,500 miles on it and was in great condition. YES I had to teach him how do drive a stick. He loves it. I now own a 2019 Colorado with a six-speed manual transmission. I have 4 problems that I am working patiently to resolve…(1) third gear vibration (2) engine revs up when disengaging cruise control by shifting into neutral (3) rear door open while driving (4) turn key to start and get nothing. No codes…happened 13 times in 1900 miles. Chevy wants ME to compare my truck to another similarly equipped Colorado. No dealership locally is willing to bring in a vehicle for a comparison. Is there anyone out there driving a Colorado/WT with a six-speed trany?
I have always had a gm vehicle of some kind. In 2018 I purchased a new GMC canyon and I have had nothing but problems with the 8 speed transmission. GM customer services has been terrible and they can’t seem to fix the problem hard shifting and shutter. I traded in a Ford F150 on this truck and now I feel like I should have stayed loyal to Ford instead of buying this piece of crap canyon. I will never buy another GM product and will tell all my friends about my experience dealing with the company .
GM has many systemic problems with it’s vehicles. They should be recalled but they don’t. Instead, they categorize them as technical bulletins, meaning vehicle owner must pay for repairs. They have ignored customers’ requests for adding safety features that are standard for its competitors. When they’re on the brink of bankruptcy again, they will scream for customer loyalty.
I will never buy another vehicle from GM again. My experience with their Customer Care has been a nightmare. I keep getting the run around about my situation. I bought a new 2019 RST Silverado from a dealership in Northern Nevada. I took my truck in for recall, when I picked it up not more than a block away a warning message came on “Service Brake Assist”. I took it back in and was told it was fixed, wrong same thing happened. For the third time I took it in, this time it was kept for over 5 weeks. I got the truck back and the message came back, however this time I was told the fault was that there was air in brake line. Then one day the engine light came on for one day and then went out.
I requested that I wanted GM to buyback the truck. I was told by Customer service that the truck would not be bought back. They informed me that they would give me money to help with a new truck, between 5 and 10 thousand. I should go out and pick out a truck. So I went back to where I bought the original truck, however they did not have a truck I liked. I went to another Northern Nevada dealership to look, they had exactly the truck I wanted. I ask Customer Service if I was allowed to buy from a different dealership, I was told it would be ok. I bought the truck and soon after I was told, by Customer Service since I bought from a different dealership I will not get the money. I am not sure who made this decision because nobody from either the dealership or GM customer Service will tell. There has been minimal communication from the dealership during this process. After spending nearly $100,000 , you would think a person would be treated honestly. If I knew I was not going to get what I was promised, I would have bought a Ford or Dodge, maybe one of them would have treated fairly.
Wow, just wow.