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Survey Finds Strong Auto Brand Loyoalty

Consumer Reports magazine survey found that 73 percent of car owners will likely stay loyal to the brand they now drive when they shop for a new vehicle.

DETROIT (AP) -- Most car owners will stay loyal to the brand they now drive when they shop for a new vehicle, according to a survey by Consumer Reports magazine.

The survey found that 73 percent of buyers were somewhat or very likely to buy the same brand they currently drive, the magazine said in a statement.

Consumer Reports interviewed 1,700 adults nationwide in households that own at least one vehicle. The telephone survey took place from April 29 to May 3, the magazine said.

Fuel economy, quality and price would be the prime factors that would influence their decision if the buyers decided to switch brands, according to the survey.

Brand loyalty can vary by gender and age, said Jeff Bartlett, the magazine\'s deputy online editor for cars.

Younger drivers, Bartlett said in a statement, are more likely to switch because of changing lifestyles, less experience with a particular brand, greater peer influence and being more trend conscious.

The survey also found that women are more likely to be loyal to a brand than men, with 54 percent of women saying they are very likely to buy within the same make. Only 43 percent of men said they would be very likely to stick with a brand.

Affluent buyers and people of modest means were almost equal in their attachment to a particular brand, the survey found.

Safety ranked fourth on the list of factors that would influence people to change brands, followed by more standard equipment, better overall reputation and low-cost financing.