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Toyota and Ford owners most common repeat owners

May 4, 2010 | 11:52 am

Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are winning the trade-in wars.

Nearly 58% of the buyers trading in a Toyota stuck with the brand when they purchased a new vehicle during the first quarter this year, according to auto information company Ford

Ford was second with 56% of Ford trade-ins resulting in the purchase of a new Ford in the first quarter. That’s up by almost 5 percentage points from the first quarter of 2009. Among domestic brands, Chevrolet was second at 45% and Dodge came in third at 38%.

Overall, Hyundai was third with just under 56% of its owners trading in their vehicles for another Hyundai. Among the import brands, Honda was second at 51%.

The Infiniti and Mercury brands came in last with just 14% of those owners trading in vehicles for another of the same make.

While Toyota led the industry, its numbers were down by 2.5 percentage points from the first quarter of last year.

Toyota’s performance might have fallen more if not for aggressive financing and lease incentive specials and a recent loyalty program that included two years of free maintenance for current owners, said Michelle Krebs, an analyst.

The automaker has suffered from a series of large recalls in recent months and a $16.4-million fine from federal safety regulators for delays in notifying federal authorities about defects in its gas pedals.

“Automakers like Ford, Honda and Chevy are generating loyalty by delivering on or above customer expectations – without having to pay for special marketing programs,” Krebs said.

-- Jerry Hirsch

Photo: Ford Fusion Hybrid. Credit: Los Angeles Times