Honda leads the automotive industry in retaining the highest percentage of new-vehicle purchasers, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Customer Retention Study. The study measures the percentage of new-vehicle buyers who replace a previously purchased new vehicle with another from the same brand. Improving by nearly two percentage points from 2007, Honda retains an exceptional 64.7% of its customers, followed by Toyota at 63.2% and Lexus at 60.4%.

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:
Honda 64.7%
Toyota 63.2%
Lexus 60.4%
Mercedes Benz 58.6%
BMW 58.5%
Ford 52.5%
Chevrolet 52.0%
Nissan 51.3%
Subaru 50.5%
Cadillac 50.4%
Land Rover 49.0%
Scion 47.2%
Hyundai 46.7%
HUMMER 43.7%
Jeep 42.8%
Suzuki 40.7%
GMC 40.6%
Lincoln 40.6%
Dodge 39.7%
Volkswagen 39.7%
Porsche 38.2%
Infiniti 37.9%
Audi 37.2%
Saturn 37.1%
Acura 37.0%
Chrysler 32.8%
Kia 32.5%
Volvo 32.5%
Buick 31.3%
Mazda 30.7%
SAAB 30.5%
Mercury 30.2%
MINI 29.3%
Mitsubishi 28.1%
Pontiac 27.2%
Jaguar 26.2%