SUV/CUV loyalty at record high as sedan loyalty drops, study finds
More than two-thirds of SUV and CUV owners in the U.S. who returned to market in the first four months of 2017 acquired another new SUV or CUV, says a new study by IHS Markit.
SUV/CUV loyalty has grown from less than 53 percent in 2012 to more than 66 percent through April, and is 13 percentage points higher than the industry average of 52.6 percent. Pickup truck loyalty rates are also rising, with nearly 51 percent of pickup owners acquiring another one in the first four months of the year. Low gas prices have helped propel the growth.
At the same time, sedan loyalty rates have softened, with rates dropping 7.6 percentage points since 2012 to 48.6 percent. If this trend continues through the rest of the year, this will mark the first year in which less than half of sedan households acquired another one when they returned to market. In the first four months of 2017, two-thirds of sedan owners defected to an SUV/CUV, representing nearly 300,000 transactions, IHS Markit said.
The top three body styles with the highest loyalty account for more than 85 percent of all new light vehicle registrations in the U.S. in the first four months of 2017.
“The exceptionally high loyalty of SUV/CUV households is driven by continued proliferation of crossover models across a wide range of size, price and functionality, such as off-road vs. non-off-road,” said Tom Libby, manager, automotive loyalty and industry analysis at IHS Markit.