NEW YORK: Hyundai, Ford and Honda are the auto brands enjoying the highest levels of loyalty among US consumers, a study has found.

JD Power & Associates, the consultancy, drew on data from 117,001 people who bought a new vehicle, including 73,733 respondents replacing a car that was new when they purchased it.

The results revealed that the customer retention rate had increased by one percentage point year on year, reaching 49% overall.

More specifically, 19 of the brands assessed had improved their ratings on this metric on an annual basis, while 14 recorded a decline compared with the previous 12 months.

Hyundai, the Korean company, posted the strongest total, with 64% of customers remaining loyal to the brand when purchasing a new car.

Ford received 60% on this measure, and was the best-performing American firm in the list. Honda, its Japanese rival, matched this figure, coming in slightly ahead of BMW and Kia, on 59% apiece.

Toyota, also from Japan and which experienced high-profile problems with product recalls in the recent past, registered 58%, bettering Chevrolet's 57%.

Mercedes-Benz, the German premium automaker, was on 57%, making it the leading luxury manufacturer. Audi scored 45%, falling to 42% for Porsche.

Saab was bottom of the table on just 7%, while Suzuki yielded 20%, Dodge secured 21%, Scion delivered 24% and Chrysler logged 26%.

More broadly, the analysis suggested women and consumers in the 23–47 year old age group were the most likely to stick with their current brand.

Exactly 33% of contributors switched between auto marques because their existing brand did not offer the type of vehicle they desired, while general dissatisfaction and the expense of maintaining a particular car were also mentioned.

"Many automotive brands are expanding their array of models in an attempt to capture more buyers, but this isn't enough in and of itself," said Raffi Festekjian, director of automotive product research at JD Power & Associates.

Data sourced from JD Power & Associates; additional content by Warc staff