The 2008 AskAfrica Orange Index survey results show Audi service is best, while Mercedes-Benz owners are most loyal.
The Orange Index is conducted annually among South African consumers and 15 737 people were interviewed across 12 sectors.
"In the automotive sector Audi was the overall winner, closely followed by Mercedes-Benz and Toyota," says Maria Petousis, who is responsible for Ask Afrika's business development.
The Orange Index measures service quality, value chain performance and loyalty without depending on data supplied by manufacturers.
"Relying on manufacturer-supplied lists introduces the potential for bias, as manufacturers may only give you their most satisfied customers details," says Petousis
The company generates random numbers and people are screened for car, and specific brand, ownership.
According to the report, the average customer retention in the automotive sector is predicted to be 72%, with the remainder likely to drop their current brands when they next switch vehicles.
"While typically you would expect substantial differences in loyalty across brands Mercedes-Benz tends to defy this - having the highest predicted retention of all - even though it doesn't have a clear service lead. Historically this is not unusual for Mercedes Benz," says Craig Kolb, R&D specialist at Ask Afrika.
Winners in the separate sectors were:
Woolworths in Food Retail,
Miladys in Clothing Retail,
Santam in Short Term Insurance,
Romans in Fast Food,
Medihelp in Medical Aid,
Old Mutual in Long Term Insurance,
Nedbank in Banking,
Shell in Petrochemical,
MTN in Cellular Telecommunications,
British Airways in Airlines, and
Multichoice in Other Telecommunications
Medihelp was the overall winner, followed by Miladys and Woolworths. Food Retail was the best performing sector overall.