Own A Hybrid Car? You’ll Buy Another One.

Hybrid Prius LoyaltyWould you buy another hybrid?
Studies show you most likely will.

Since hybrid cars have been around nearly a decade, many first-time buyers of hybrids are becoming second-, even third-time buyers of hybrids. Whether it is to replace their old lease, a second family car, or a technology upgrade, studies are showing the hybrid car owners just keep coming back for more.

According to a Consumer Reports owner satisfaction survey in January 2008, Prius owners were the most satisfied car owners out there. Ninety-two percent of Prius owners in the study said they would buy another Prius. The Prius has been leading the owner-satisfaction pack for the past four years, so this is no surprise. However, another hybrid is quickly catching up; the Toyota Camry had a satisfaction rating of 87%.

Overall, the auto industry is seeing a trend with hybrid owners. Over half of hybrid owners will remain loyal to the make of their first hybrid. That means that the competition for first-time hybrid buyers is going to get tougher as there is more than just one car sale on the line, there is brand loyalty. When you compare the buying habits of hybrid owners to standard-fuel vehicle owners, you can see that the hybrid owners are indeed more loyal. Only 35% of standard-fuel vehicle owners are loyal to the brand of their current car when looking for a new one.

Combining these two studies, it is easy to understand that Prius has the market cornered on retaining repeat buyers. It is the most popular hybrid car right now, has superior owner satisfaction and is therefore creating vast consumer loyalty. In fact 25% of Prius owners purchase another Prius. In the hybrid category overall, buyers return to buy an updated version of their current hybrid car just 18% of the time. Hard to believe that figure is still 50% more than traditional vehicle return buyers.

So what is it about hybrids that keep us coming back for seconds and even thirds? Auto manufacturers know that hybrid buyers are loyal buyers, so they don’t cut any corners when it comes to pleasing the driver and passengers. Comfort, fuel efficiency and environmental benefits all combine into the perfect storm here. Add to that a good warranty and a polite and non-aggressive sales and service staff and it’s easy to see why half of all hybrid owners return to the make of their current hybrid.

Another interesting tidbit picked up in this survey was that pick-up drivers are the most loyal to the type of car they buy, meaning that though they are not brand loyal, they will usually buy another pickup truck. With the recent news of Toyota and GM trying to break into the hybrid truck market, this could represent a great trend toward eco-friendly pick-ups. Watch the Hybrid Kingdom series of blogs for more on that.

So, if you own a hybrid now…let us know if you plan to buy another one, or if this is not your first! We’d love to hear from you.

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