Hyundai significantly gained ground in the rankings of the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Customer Retention StudySM. Hyundai ranked number three among nameplates in the brand loyalty study, seven rank positions above the industry average and up eight rank positions over 2009. Hyundai has a retention rate of 60 percent, 12 percent points higher than the industry average, and 13 percent points higher than last year. Hyundais 60 percent retention rate is the highest the brand has achieved since the studys inception in 2003 and is eight percentage points above its 2003-2009 average of 52 percent. Hyundais gains in product appeal, quality, and vehicle quality contributed to the brands highest increase in customer retention. Hyundai owners are more likely this year than in 2009 to cite Fun to drive (new veh.), Fuel Economy (new veh.), and Safety (new veh.) as reasons they stayed with the brand.

We believe these results demonstrate that customers are connecting with our new Fluidic Sculpture design language on Tucson and Sonata and our agile driving dynamics, said Mike OBrien, vice president, Product and Corporate Planning, Hyundai Motor America. We aim to raise our retention rates even higher next year with the all-new Elantra and Equus arriving in dealerships right now.

The Customer Retention Study measures the rate at which automotive brands retain their existing customers and the reasons why owners remain loyal. Customer retention is critical to a brands market success, particularly during the current period of slow recovery, in which each new-vehicle sale is vital.

In addition to customer retention, the study also examines rates at which automotive brands capture customers from their competitors, known as conquesting. The importance of a fun-to-drive vehicle has also increased as a reason why brands conquest new customers from their competitors.

According to J.D. Power and Associates, now that economic and market conditions have improved somewhat, vehicle owners are increasingly citing emotional, rather than practical, reasons for staying with their vehicle brand or switching to a different one. In light of this, developing new models with attractive styling and that are perceived as fun to drive is increasingly critical for automakers in order to retain and conquest customers as the market continues to recover.

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