Utility loyalty continues to rise at the expense of sedans

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - 

At the expense of sedans, customer loyalty to SUVs and CUVs has reached record levels. This trend is expected to continue given the steady growth of utilities and pickups, according to a recent analysis.

In fact, over the next three years, there’s expected to be up to five times as many new utility nameplates introduced to the market as new sedans, according to IHS Markit forecasts.

“Not only do utilities offer an attractive combination of benefits not available with sedans, but the broad range of utilities available, whether it be based on size, price or technology, now rivals the choice among sedans and continues to grow,” IHS Markit loyalty principal Tom Libby explained in a news release.

At 66.9 percent, up from 64.4 percent in 2016 and from 54.3 percent in 2012 — loyalty to utility vehicles reached a record high last year.

IHS Markit’s recent analysis of 17.1 million new vehicle registrations in 2017 found that utility loyalty is 14.6 percentage points higher than the industry average loyalty of 52.3 percent.

Last year, two out of every three households that returned to market with a utility vehicle at home drove off with another utility vehicle.

Sedan loyalty led the industry with an impressive 56.2 percent loyalty back in 2012.

Meanwhile, sedan loyalty has fallen to 47.7 percent in 2017, down a total 8.5 percentage points since 2012.

This is the largest drop any body type has seen over the five-year period.

Additionally, at 50.6 percent, pickup truck loyalty in 2017 has risen, as well. Loyalty for the segment has grown 8.1 percentage points since 2012, according to IHS Markit data. 

In the past five years, loyalty for the four lower-volume car body styles hatchback, coupe, station wagon and convertible has dropped more than three points to 8.2 percent.

IHS Markit’s 2017 analysis evaluated new-vehicle transactions made between January 2012 and December 2017.

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