The automaker knows a thing or two about retaining customers - and poaching them from rivals, too.
Tesla has bagged multiple awards in the latest S&P Global Mobility Loyalty Awards, with the electric car company driving off with wins in the Overall Loyalty to Make and several other categories.
Between January and December 2022, S&P tracked buying trends and uncovered some interesting tidbits that reflect the habits of the American car buyer. Joe LaFeir, president of automotive insights for S&P, said, "The past three years have been a challenge for the automotive industry. As customers are returning back to market post-pandemic and inventory levels have slowly improved from last year's lows, retaining loyal customers has been more challenging than ever before."
Despite these obstacles, Tesla has managed to come through 2022 with several awards, including Alternative Powertrain, Loyalty to Make, and Highest Conquest Percentage. Earlier data from S&P showed that consumers were abandoning Honda and Toyota and purchasing the Model Y and Model 3 in their droves.
A big part of Tesla's strong customer retention and loyalty has to do with the automaker's resonance with ethnic consumers. Retaining these buyers remains critical to success, as they represented more than 40% of all personal vehicle registrations last year.
"Ethnic buyers have increased their market share in the industry every year for the last decade, making them an important audience in building loyalty success for the foreseeable future," said S&P's Vince Palomarez. More than 52% of Tesla's loyal sales volume came from ethnic consumers.
Musk's automaker isn't the only brand to receive recognition this year, though. For the 19th time in 27 years, General Motors was awarded a win in the Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer category, a different category to that which Tesla won. This is the brand's eighth consecutive win. This means conglomerates like the Volkswagen Group are eligible for the award, while Volkswagen as an individual brand is not.
Elsewhere, the Equinox, Silverado 2500/3500, Bolt, and Corvette all received segment loyalty awards for their respective vehicle segments. The Bolt and Corvette are both repeat winners.
Mercedes-Benz and Subaru, brands that once had a fiercely loyal following, have made a return to the fold, both receiving awards after a lengthy hiatus from the S&P radar. Thanks to the introduction of the swoopy EQS, Benz bagged the Most Improved Alternative Powertrain Loyalty to Make award, which recognizes a brand's ability to retain an owner to a brand and a fully-electric or electrified drivetrain.
For the first time, Subaru achieved first place in the Overall Loyalty to Dealer category, with a remarkable 38% of owners returning to the same dealer when it was time to purchase a new car.
Other category winners include relative newcomers like the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, and the study noted that vehicles with a strong reputation have a great ability to retain customers; products like the Mercedes S-Class and Lexus ES bagged repeat wins in the Luxury Full-Size Car and Luxury Mid-Size Car categories, respectively.
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