DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. earned honors for the fourth consecutive year as the car company with the most-loyal customers, according to the Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards presented Tuesday at the Automotive News World Congress by IHS Automotive.
Ford also won top honors for loyalty to make as well among African Americans, IHS Automotive announced.
Cadillac earned honors as the most-improved brand in terms of customer loyalty.
Toyota garnered the most loyalty among Hispanics and Asians, IHS Automotive announced
Loyalty is determined when a household that owns a new vehicle returns to market and purchases or leases another new vehicle of the same model or make. The Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards are presented annually to automakers and brands that demonstrate a manufacturer's ability to retain owners over repeat buying cycles.
Overall, loyalty rose to 51 percent.
For the first time, the survey also looked at the ability of manufacturers to get conquest buyers -- getting them to leave a brand for their vehicles. Audi had the highest percentage of conquests -- 47 percent -- according to vehicle registrations monitored by Polk. Subaru was the most-improved in conquest, IHS Automotive determined.
"Conquesting is being closely followed by OEMs and dealers alike as they seek to improve market share and win customers from competing brands," said Jeffrey Anderson, director of loyalty and source of sales solutions at IHS Automotive, a suburban Detroit division of research and analytics firm IHS. Anderson made his remarks prior to the awards ceremony.
This year's awards are based on an analysis of more than 7.4 million new-vehicle registrations during the 2013 model year from Oct. 1, 2012, through Sept. 30, 2013.
IHS Automotive also announced 25 segment winners for customer loyalty. In the pickup categories, Ford won for full-sized truck for its F-150 and the Toyota Tacoma for mid-sized truck.
The Honda CR-V won for non-luxury crossover and the Jeep Grand Cherokee for mid-sized SUV.