Polk Presents Tenth Annual Automotive Loyalty Award Winners

Toyota Emerges as New Leader in Overall Make Loyalty

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- R. L. Polk & Co., the automotive industry's premier tracker of consumer loyalty among new vehicles presented the 10th Annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards yesterday at the 2006 Automotive News World Congress.

Toyota won the Overall Make award for posting the highest make loyalty to an automotive division. The division also boasted two model loyalty awards and Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., secured two model loyalty awards within their vehicle segments.

"The success of Toyota in this year's loyalty awards ceremony mirrors the increasing national sales and market share trends for Toyota," said Stephen R. Polk, chairman, president and CEO of R. L. Polk & Co. "Toyota has succeeded in providing a product portfolio that enticed a growing number of customers to remain loyal to their vehicles when presented with numerous choices when returning to the marketplace."

General Motors continued to outpace the rest of the industry in terms of manufacturer loyalty, winning for the sixth consecutive year in the Overall Manufacturer category. Sixty-three percent of GM owners returning to market in 2005 opted for another new GM vehicle.

Other brands capturing loyalty honors for the 2005 model year, which ended September 30, 2005, are Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Mercury, Saturn and Subaru.

Toyota, Domestic Vehicles Dominate Segment Categories

The Detroit-based "Big Three" claimed seven loyalty awards among the fourteen vehicle segment categories, with Ford Motor Company accepting honors for its Ford F-Series, Ford Mustang, Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis and the F-Series and Mustang being repeat winners from 2004. General Motors collected awards for its Chevrolet Suburban and Saturn ION, while Chrysler's Town & Country took top loyalty honors in the Minivan segment for the fifth consecutive year.

Driven by Toyota, five vehicle segments had Asian models emerge as leaders of their respective categories, the highest number of awards captured by Asian automakers since the inception of the Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards. In addition to the Overall Make award, Toyota Motor Sales took home loyalty awards for two cars and two truck-based models: Toyota Camry, Toyota Tacoma, Lexus LS 430 and Lexus RX 300/330/400h. Subaru Forester won in the Compact SUV segment for the third consecutive year.

Among the European winners, the second generation 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK- Class took home the loyalty award for Prestige Sport Car category. Land Rover secured the Prestige Sport Utility Vehicle category for the second consecutive year for its Range Rover nameplate.

Polk Manufacturer Loyalty Excelerator(TM) Report

Polk's Manufacturer Loyalty Excelerator(TM) Report, which is the basis for the Polk Automotive Loyalty rankings and annual awards, is the latest insight into consumer loyalty. This report was introduced to the automotive industry in 1995 and was created to provide household loyalty information to manufacturers at many different levels. It is now used to provide loyalty percentages for the entire automotive industry and allows for cross-industry comparisons of loyalty behavior. The report measures loyalty throughout the entire model year so that manufacturers may keep abreast of loyalty trends as they occur in the industry.

The Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards recognize manufacturers for superior owner loyalty performance. Loyalty is determined when a household that owns a new vehicle returns to market and purchases or leases another new vehicle of the same model or make.

About R. L. Polk & Co.

R. L. Polk & Co. is the premier provider of automotive information and marketing solutions. Polk collects and interprets global data, and provides extensive automotive business expertise to help customers understand their market position, identify trends, build brand loyalty, conquest new business and gain a competitive advantage. Polk helps automotive manufacturers and dealers, automotive aftermarket companies, finance and insurance companies, advertising agencies, consulting organizations, government agencies and market research firms make good business decisions. A privately held global firm, Polk is based in Southfield, Mich. with operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.polk.com .


    Polk Automotive Loyalty Award Winners - 2005 Model year

    Category                  Winner                 Loyalty%    Avg. Loyalty%
                                                                 for Category
    Overall Awards:
    Manufacturer Loyalty    General Motors*            63.1          53.6
    Make Loyalty            Toyota                     54.6          44.2

    Vehicle Segment
    Small Car               Saturn ION*                24.6          13.8
    Midsize Car             Toyota Camry*              27.1          17.1
    Large Car               Mercury Grand Marquis      36.1          25.8
    Luxury Car              Lincoln Town Car           37.2          18.9
    Prestige Luxury Car     Lexus LS 430*              32.0          25.0
    Sports Car              Ford Mustang*              17.0           9.5
    Prestige Sports Car     Mercedes Benz SLK-Class    24.5          16.8
    Minivan                 Chrysler Town & Country*   26.9          15.0
    Compact Pickup Truck    Toyota Tacoma              19.5          13.0
    Full-Size Pickup Truck  Ford F-Series*             39.0          34.3
    Compact SUV             Subaru Forester*           27.1          16.2
    Midsize SUV             Lexus RX 300/330/400h      31.0          16.9
    Full-Size SUV               Chevrolet  Suburban                  21.1                    17.8
        Prestige  SUV                        Land  Rover  Range  Rover*        32.9                    20.1

        *  2004  Model  Year  Polk  Automotive  Loyalty  Award  Winner


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