Toyota’s Customer Loyalty is Falling Fast

Toyota used to be “neck and neck” with Ford and Chevrolet in the race to dominate the rankings for consumer loyalty to vehicle brands in the U.S., but it is falling fast.

According to Automotive News, a recent S&P Global Mobility survey revealed that among mainstream automakers during the first four months of this year, Toyota dropped to 7th place, with Ford and Chevy taking the top two spots.

Related: Toyota Falling Off a Cliff

According to market research analyst Tom Libby, one of the key reasons for the decline is a shift in consumer preference toward electric vehicles (EVs), particularly Tesla. Toyota lags far behind its competitors when it comes to EVs.

Tesla EVs

In fact, Tesla once more topped the list of devoted customers for premium brands with a score of 68%, 18.8 points higher than BMW in second place. The final three places were filled by Cadillac, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz. Tesla is the only luxury brand that is retaining more customers than it is losing, with no other brand having a market share of more than 50%.

Related: Tesla Model Y Overtakes Toyota Corolla to Become World’s Best-Selling Car in Q1, 2023

The percentage of customers who migrated from Toyota to Tesla was up 2.1 points to 5% year over year. Though EV sales remain small for many brands, according to Libby:

“There’s no doubt that Toyota, Honda, and some other Asian brands are being impacted tremendously by Tesla.”

In a time when most customers are shifting towards EVs, the major reason why Japanese automakers like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan are falling behind is the lack of electric vehicles in their lineups. Toyota has only the bZ4X which, as of May 2023, only managed to find 3,043 buyers according to the data. Honda is not there among the top 7, but against all odds, Nissan claimed the 4th position in customer retention.

2023 toyota bz4x front view

Analysts contend that Toyota’s decline in brand loyalty rankings illustrates how Tesla and other electric vehicles, in particular, are having a greater impact on the automotive sector. Traditional automakers like Toyota struggle to keep their client base as consumers drift more and more toward EVs. The ascent of Tesla is a wake-up call for the sector. Toyota needs to innovate and spend resources on electric vehicle technologies to recover its competitive edge and meet changing preferences of customers.

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