Technology analysis company IHS Markit, which has its headquarters in Southfield, today announced that consumer loyalty to SUVs and Crossover Utility Vehicles (CUVs) is up 13 percent from 2012, while sedan loyalty rates have dropped 7.6 percentage points during the same period.
The report also states that nearly 66 percent of SUV and CUV owners in the U.S. that returned to the marketplace for a new vehicle during the first four months of the year acquired another SUV or CUV, up from the industry average of 52.6 percent.
Meanwhile, sedan loyalty has dipped to 48.6 percent, nearly four points below industry average, and more than 2 percentage points lower than pickup truck loyalty. IHS Markit officials say low gas prices have contributed to the rise of pickup truck and total sport utility vehicle loyalty, and note that if the trend continues, it will be the first year in which less than 50 percent of sedan owners buy another sedan when returning to the auto market.
Additionally, data estimates during 2017 show 66 percent of non-returning sedan owners purchased an SUV or CUV.
“The exceptionally high loyalty of SUV/CUV households is driven by continued proliferation of crossover models across a wide range of size, price, and functionality,” says Tom Libby, manager of automotive loyalty and industry analysis for IHS Markit. “In some cases this proliferation has resulted in two or even three models in the same segment from the same brand.”
Libby also notes that SUV/CUV marketing teams target consumers who have only owned one sedan consecutively, as they are the most likely to defect to a sport utility or crossover vehicle when returning to the market.
“Market teams from brands with a competitive SUV/CUV portfolio would therefore be best served to target those households that have not been consistently sedan-oriented over the past several purchase cycles,” he adds.