J.D. Power and Associates stated that "Honda's reputation for creating safe vehicles with high resale value has been instrumental in retaining owners", and this was a theme consistent amongst the top performers.
Meanwhile, Jaguar came in with the worst customer retention rates, with just over one-quarter of customers sticking with the brand. This is significantly less than the average customer retention rate, which declined slightly to 48% in 2008 from 49% in 2007.
Land Rover posts the greatest improvement in customer retention rates from 2007, improving by 18 percentage points in 2008 to 49%. This puts Land Rover above the industry average, as well as other marques such as Porsche, Volkswagen, and Audi who were all below average.
Foreign marques led the way in customer retention, with the best placed American brand coming in at 6th thanks to Ford. GM's Chevrolet brand followed closely behind, but was still almost 13 points behind Honda.
Customer retention will become even more critical to automakers in the coming year, as new car sales in 2009 are projected to decline to below 12 million units, according to automotive forecasting outfit CSM Worldwide.
The full list of carmakers is as follows:
Mercedes Benz 58.6%
Land Rover 49.0%