Toyota, Lexus emerge as leaders for shopper loyalty 

February 7, 2013 12:00 AM

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) released the results of its latest study in brand loyalty, which saw both familiar and new faces claim the top spots. For the fifth consecutive quarter, Toyota landed in the number one position, continuing its strong rebound following its decline in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. 

The luxury brand Lexus made a surprise jump into second place, increasing its shopper loyalty by 9.2 percent. It also had a lead of more than 10 percentage points over Audi, the next highest luxury automaker on the list. 

"Lexus recently redesigned its GS, ES, RX and LS, and each model has played a part in driving increased interest to the brand ... while also influencing current owners to again consider the manufacturer for their next purchase," said Akshay Anand, an analyst for KBB. "Lexus has moved in a bold new direction with its vehicle styling, even creating a signature feature with its unique spindle grille, while also catering to financial-minded shoppers." 

Honda, Hyundai and Ford rounded out the top five, respectively. A lack of redesigns and fresh car repair for models from these lineups may have contributed to a stagnant brand loyalty, but these automakers could make a quick rebound if their 2013 models are a success. 

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