Toyota and Honda took top honors in R. L. Polk & Co.'s 14th Annual Automotive Loyalty Awards, which were presented this evening at the 2010 Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. Four new awards were presented including the Most Improved Loyalty to Make, which was won by Audi. In addition, three new ethnic loyalty awards were presented.

Edging out General Motors for the first time in nine years, Toyota ranked number one in Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer, indicative of the manufacturer's ability to retain previous customers. Toyota also won top honors in the Mid/Full-Size Car and Mid/Full-Size SUV categories for the Toyota Prius and Lexus RX respectively, and received the new award for brand loyalty among Asian American consumers.

"After an extremely difficult year for the auto market, winning four Polk Loyalty Awards is a real boost for us," said Jim Lentz, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. "We're especially grateful to our dealers and customers for their trust in Toyota, Lexus and Scion."

Honda also was a big winner, taking top honors in the Overall Loyalty to Make category and winning the newly introduced African American and Hispanic Loyalty to Make Awards, which recognize customer loyalty among these ethnic groups.

Audi won top honors in the Most Improved Loyalty to Make category. The award, introduced this year, honors the make that recorded the largest percentage point improvement in loyalty for the 2009 model year. Audi recorded a 4.9 percentage point increase in its customer loyalty.

Ford garnered two awards: The F-Series earned the Mid/Full-Size Pickup nod and Mustang repeated in the Sports Car category. Other repeat winners included Subaru Forester in the Compact SUV segment, Land Rover Range Rover in the Luxury SUV category, and Chrysler Town & Country which has won the Minivan segment for the past eight years.

Other winners honored in tonight's ceremony included the MINI Cooper in the Compact Car category; BMW 3 Series in the Luxury Car segment; and the Porsche 911 in the Luxury Sports Car category.

"Maintaining a solid loyal customer base is not easy, but it is essential to survive in today's competitive environment," said Stephen Polk, chairman, president and CEO of R. L. Polk & Co. "Tonight's winners are all excellent examples of what customer retention can do for your brand and your bottom line."