For Korean automaker Hyundai, the steady gains in quality, sales, and reputation have finally paid off with the company topping the Kelley Blue Book rankings on customers loyalty.
This is the first time Hyundai has topped the loyalty rankings for an entire quarter.
It's a testament to the momentum Hyundai has built up over the last couple of years.
Hyundai buyers are happy with what they are driving and it shows in the KBB 2Q loyalty rankings.
Here are the top five from KBB:
- Hyundai 52.3%
- Honda 49.7%
- Toyota 47.7%
- Ford 45.4 %
- Subaru 44.8%
As I've said for some time, Hyundai is the one automaker I hear executives in auto industry talking about more than any other competitor.
Two years ago, many of those executives in Detroit and Japan dismissed Hyundai as being better, but not yet on par with the "Big 6".
In fact, I routinely talk with executives who admit Hyundai models are every bit as strong as what they are building at Ford, Toyota, or General Motors .
Last week, Yoshi Inaba, the head of Toyota North America gave an interview in Japan where he called the Hyundai Sonata a "very honorable contender in the market" to the long-time king of the hill in America, the Toyota Camry.
In June, the Sonata came very close the catching the Camry in monthly sales and in fact, beat the Camry in May. Yes, Camry supplies are restricted, but the thin margin between the two models is still worth noting.
What's interesting about Hyundai is that it's just starting a big couple of years with some important re-designs and new models.
It faces the challenge of staying on a roll while capacity in the U.S. is already at capacity. Keeping quality up while expanding rapidly is rarely achieved in the auto industry.
But that's the plan at Hyundai, where the customers have put the brand at the top of their list.
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