Over 80% CarMax customers show no brand loyalty; loyal customers want Lexus, SUV models

The 2016 Lexus RX 350. Photo courtesy of automaker.
CARY, N.C. - 

Not only does transaction data show what brands CarMax buyers are most loyal to, a look into their individual buying patterns shows that most customers aren’t very loyal to their car brands at all. 

Despite finding that Lexus, followed by Mercedes-Benz and then Ford, have the most loyal drivers among its customers, CarMax found that.

Among drivers who traded in a car, only 19.4 percent continue on with that same brand in the future, compared to a little over 80 percent who don't, according to the company.

While most CarMax shoppers don't purchase the same brand as their trade-in, some do. Here's a list of the 10 brands with the highest repurchase rate at CarMax:

  1. Lexus, 30.4 percent percent
  2. Mercedes-Benz, 28.3 percent
  3. Ford 26.1 percent
  4. Cadillac, 24.7 percent
  5. Toyota, 24.6 percent 
  6. BMW, 23.5 percent
  7. Chevrolet, 22.5 percent
  8. Porsche, 21.5 percent
  9. Infiniti, 20.6 percent
  10. Nissan, 20.6 percent

CarMax said that it examined all customer transaction data recorded between Jan. 1, last year through Dec. 31.

While Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Ford have the most loyal CarMax customers, Volkswagen, Mazda and Volvo brands carry the least amount of loyal CarMax owners, according to the company.

Graph courtesy of CarMax.

Moreover, the used-car retailer also found that a Lexus vehicle owner is four times more likely to buy another Lexus from CarMax than a Volkswagen owner is to buy another Volkswagen.

The year-long data from 2017 shows that the most repurchased vehicles models are the Chevrolet Corvette, Lexus RX 355, Dodge Ram 1500, Lexus ES 350 and Ford F150. A little over 30 percent of Corvette owners purchase another Corvette from CarMax, according to CarMax.

Meanwhile, CarMax also looked at consumer loyalty to vehicle segments and found that sport-utility vehicles are the most re-purchased vehicle body style type overall.

According to the company, 61 percent of CarMax SUV segment owners end up purchasing another SUV, while just 5.9 percent of two-door hatchback owners and 8.7 percent of two-door truck owners end up making a repurchase of that same body style.

Furthermore, the sedan segment has the second highest repurchase rate at CarMax (47.5 percent).

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