Originally Posted by jragosta
Customer retention is not really a very helpful statistic.
Let's say you're in the market for a $40,000 car. You have a lot of options to choose from - and even a lot of comparable options. If I want a good quality, comfortable, mid-sized sedan for $40,000, I have a dozen or more choices.
OTOH, if you 'only' have $60 K to spend and want a full blown luxury vehicle, the Equus may be your only choice. Even on the low end, Hyundai vehicles are generally priced considerably lower than most of the competition. So 'high customer retention' may simply mean 'our customers are consistently looking for a cheap car and we don't have as much competition in that space'.
That's not to say that Hyundai vehicles are bad. They certainly seem to offer decent value in the markets where they compete. But you can't really use customer retention as evidence of that.
The thing is, people dont mess around when spending the kind of money to buy a car. Some will choose a car just to save $1000 - $1500 spending $20,000+ based on price alone, but those are few. Most will not buy a car unless they believe it is going to be something they can rely on. They will pay a bit more for dependability without giving it much thought.
The JD Power Customer Retention showed that Hyundai owners are the most likely to be brand loyal when it comes to buying their next car. If it were simply because Hyundai was slightly cheaper than their competitors, they would have won this award every year they sold cars in America because its always been that way. But this is the first year they took the prize. People come back to Hyundai because their prior experience was good enough that they want to stick with the same brand.
Ive compared trim levels of the Sonata vs Camry and on the upper level and hybrid trims, there is no difference in price (same options and features) and in one case the Sonata was more expensive than Camry. (although Camry did offer additional options which Sonata didnt have which made it more expensive). And the cheapest car in America is no longer Hyundai or Kia, but the Nissan Versa, and by a fairly wide margin.
Heres another Brand Loyalty survey done by Kelley Blue Book, with Hyundai winning again.http://mediaroom.kbb.com/hyundai-mai...ota-closing-in
Kia also finished in fourth place out of all manufacturers.
In the very latest study, Toyota is in the lead by a hair over second place Hyundai, and Kia maintaining the fourth spot.http://mediaroom.kbb.com/toyota-rede...-since-Q3-2010
Kia and Hyundai are still behind in reputation compared to Toyota and Honda, especially among the older generation.
But with all the advertising they do to get their brand name to be recognizable among the new generation, and with support of prior owners from studies like these, their reputation increases every year against the odds.