Insights on Customer Retention and Conquest Opportunities

Understanding Your Market: Insights on Customer Retention and Conquest Opportunities

Brand retention and defection numbers can be tough to look at, but they can be a great guide to finding new customers.

Vehicle brand retention is 43.7% in the U.S. By definition, to keep your sales numbers flat, you are constantly conquesting new customers more than retaining existing ones. How do you keep your retention as high as possible, and where do you look to conquest other brands?

Using data compiled from vehicle deals closed last year, a few insights stand out to help you accomplish these things:

Insight 1: Brand Retention Rates Are Rising

The 43.7% retention rate is not good. Even 60.1% retention for the leading brand, Toyota, is not good. That said, it’s actually trending in the right direction.

Over 73% of brands saw an increase in brand retention in 2023 compared to the year before. So why’s that important?

Consumers can often find cars from multiple brands that fit what they’re looking for in terms of vehicle type, features, price range and more. Despite that, more are staying with their existing make. For your dealership, this can be a huge leg up when it comes to securing repeat customers.

Every interaction you have with a customer is an opportunity to work on relationship-building. The more you can curate a list of positive experiences, the easier it will be to bring customers back for future purchases.

Insight 2: Successful Conquest Opportunities Have a Pattern

Some of your customers will inevitably shop elsewhere for their next vehicle. The good news is there are plenty of drivers in competitive makes for you to go get. You just need to know who to target. 

While you certainly have obvious targets: With their large market share, Toyota, Chevrolet and Ford are good opportunities for nearly every brand (with the surprising exception that Chevrolet is not a favorable conquest target for Mazda dealers). There are also some interesting finds from 2023:

• If you are a domestic dealer, Honda drivers are not your audience despite high market share.

• Nissan is a target on every mainstream brand’s conquest list.

• Premium brands are conquesting Ford and Toyota drivers at surprisingly high rates.

Depending on your brand, you have a lot of defections to replace. Finding the right audience is difficult, but certainly not impossible.

Insight 3: Once in the Truck Market, Always in the Truck Market

There’s a unique kind of loyalty within the truck market, but loyalty doesn’t necessarily extend to truck brands. After all, a customer might need a heavy-duty vehicle to haul things, but there’s more than one brand that can fulfill that need.

In 2023, truck owners had a 72.5% likelihood of purchasing another truck as their next vehicle. That’s almost three out of every four truck drivers. But, only GM trucks are keeping more than half their drivers at 57.2%. That means conquesting new customers in competitive makes is as important for trucks as other light vehicles. 

The good news is you know your targets. Regardless of your make, domestic truck brands are where most of your conquest opportunities lie.  And if you’re a Honda dealer, you’ll also pick up some Toyota drivers. Brand retention and defection numbers can be tough to look at, but they can be a great guide to finding new customers. 

*This data is based on the 2024 Brand Retention and Defection report. Results are based on deals closed between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023. Only finalized deals for new and used vehicles that were purchased or leased at U.S. dealerships were used.

You May Also Like

Cybersecurity for Dealerships

Now is the time to take a proactive approach to protecting your dealership’s and customer’s most sensitive information by adopting a comprehensive approach to your cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity for Dealerships

These days cyber threats are lurking around every corner. Just one wrong click or download from a malicious source can lead to a compromised or hacked device, which creates numerous problems including viruses and stolen private or confidential information such as social security numbers, bank account credentials, passwords and more.

Paving the Way for Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is like a muscle, where the more we use it, the stronger it becomes. By being smart about how we use it, we can develop this key attribute and get the best return for our energy.

Paving the Way for Self-Discipline
Data Is the New Oil: Revolutionizing the Automotive Industry with Integrated Solutions

Dealerships that harness the predictive power of data can anticipate maintenance schedules, predict the optimal time for car replacements and personalize marketing to reach customers with the right message at the right time.

Data is the new oil - Velocity Automotive
How Dealership Texting Software is Changing the Game

Dealership texting software is setting new standards in customer service and sales efficiency, proving to be an indispensable asset in the modern dealership toolkit.

How Dealership Texting Software is Changing the Game - Tecobi
Unleashing the Power of Customer Data with CRM, AI and Analytics

From the moment a potential buyer expresses interest, to post-purchase engagement, every interaction can be optimized for a seamless and personalized experience.

Unleashing the Power of Customer Data with CRM, AI and Analytics

Other Posts

Reynolds and Reynolds to hold Automotive Amplifiers Contest

The Automotive Amplifiers Contest carries $15,000 in prizes and celebrates individuals at dealerships who are amplifying retail automotive.

High-Tech Solutions: A New Way of Thinking About Paint Touch-Up Products

The automotive paint chip repair products’ journey from simple touch-up solutions to sophisticated repair kits reflects not only the technological progress the industry has made, but also the changing demands of today’s consumer.

Dr. ColorChip paint repair
Unlocking Service Drive Revenue: The Critical Role of Technician Inspections

The true potential of service consulting lies in recognizing the nuanced art of quality inspections and leveraging it to drive success for both advisors and technicians.

Unlocking Service Drive Revenue: The Critical Role of Technician Inspections
Elevating the FTC Safeguards: Embracing a Defense in Depth Approach

In a serious cyberattack, a single security control may not be able to mitigate all the damage, but multiple controls working in unison can.

Elevating the FTC Safeguards: Embracing a Defense in Depth Approach