Automotive Digital Brand Exposure Index – Q3 2016

The US automotive industry is one of the largest spenders on digital advertising, spending over $7 billion in 2015 and projected to grow significantly in coming years. The goal, of course, is to grow their digital exposure footprint and their sales numbers, and the Swoop Digital Brand Exposure Index (DBEI) is designed to create an objective ranking of automotive models and brands with the most exposure within the online auto world. Swoop has the largest network of automotive sites in the world, and the Swoop Search Engine extracts brand and model data from every page, giving us an unfiltered look at organic automotive interest in the United States.

So in Q3, 2016, who did the best in the battle of the organic digital footprint?

Most Visible Automakers

Adding up the visibility of all automobiles by a particular make lets us know which auto OEM has the highest organic visibility for their models. In Q3, Chevrolet takes the top spot, passing last quarter’s top brand Ford:

Auto brands with the most digital visibility

Comparing with data from our Q2 Automotive Digital Brand Exposure Index, we can see how the top 9 most-visible brands’ changed:

Auto maker digital visibility change between q2 and q3 2016

Overall, the top 9 brands accounted for about 2% more of the overall visibility than last quarter; automotive visibility seems to have become slightly more top-heavy as the summer rolled on. It is important to note that, despite the drops, Honda, Dodge and Nissan remain strongly in the top 10 most-visible automakers.

Most Visible Models

The top 10 most read-about automotive models in Q3 2016:

Auto models with highest online visibility

There is a lot of similarity between the top 10 this quarter and last – the Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Ram have switched positions, and the Jeep Cherokee has seen a jump of 3 spots. This quarter also sees the Chevrolet Silverado’s entrance into the top 10 at the expense of the Honda CR-Z, which drops all the way to the 20 spot.

Big Gainers in Visibility Ranking

Now that we have our second official Automotive Digital Brand Exposure Index, we can start looking at trends – specifically, which vehicles saw the biggest jumps in their exposure ranking from our Q2 report to Q3:

Vehicles with the biggest spike in digital visibility from Q2 to Q3 2016

We limited the Top Gainers chart to automobiles in the top 100 slots – beyond that, the percentage of voice is too small for jumps in rank to be an actually useful stat. As for the top gainers, Nissan saw three models pick up a big chunk of visibility ranking – the Sentra, the Pathfinder and the Murano. Toyota saw big gains from the Sienna and Prius, and Kia got jumps out of the Sportage and Sorento.

Share of Voice by Segment

As we did last quarter, we’ve chosen seven segments of automobile type to break down Share of Voice: Compact Cars, Mid-Sized Cars, Sports Cars, Pickup Trucks, SUV/Crossovers, Alternative-Fuel Vehicles and Luxury Cars. Here you can see how much a particular model dominates its segment, which segments have the most competition, and which manufacturers have taken over a particular segment:

Compact Cars

Most popular compact cars - q3 2016

The Civic once again dominates the compact car visibility share of voice metric. Honda’s CR-Z has dropped out of the number two position, which has been taken over by the Mazda3. Interestingly, other than Honda, no manufacturer places more than one vehicle in the compact car top 10.

Mid-Sized Cars

Most popular mid-sized cars - Q3 2016

Honda continues its trend of sitting atop the compact and mid-sized car segments. Nissan once again places two top-10 models – the Maxima and Altima – along with Chevrolet’s Impala and Malibu.

Sports Cars

Most popular sports cars - Q3 2016

As with last quarter, the Corvette is the most visible car – meaning, of course, it must be the most visible car in its category. The sports car category is interesting, as it often to be the hype-generating face of a brand.

This quarter, the Dodge Challenger has dropped out of the top 10 sports cars, leaving only Chevrolet with the Corvette and Camaro placing two vehicles in the list.

Pickup Trucks

Most popular pickup trucks - Q3 2016

The “All Others” category in pickup trucks is tiny, mostly because there are barely over ten pickup truck models available in the United States. Once again Ford rolls with the F-150, but in an interesting turn of events, the Toyota Tundra has leapfrogged the Chevrolet Silverado for third place (behind the Dodge Ram). This breaks up the holy trinity of truck manufacturers we joked about last quarter.

SUVs/Crossovers

Most popular SUVs/Crossovers - Q3 2016

Jeep continues to live at the top of this highly competitive vertical, with the Wrangler and Cherokee taking the top two spots for the second quarter in a row. Two Subaru models have jumped over the Chevrolet Tahoe to take spots 3 and 4, and the GMC Yukon has dropped out of the top 10, replaced by Toyota’s Rav4 and 4Runner, along with the Chevy Suburban.

Luxury Cars

Most popular luxury cars - Q3 2016

German manufacturers continue their dominance in the luxury car vertical, with Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW dominating luxury car visibility. Only Jaguar places in the top 10 of US luxury car visibility from anywhere other than Germany, up a spot from last quarter to number 7.

Luxury SUV/Crossover

Most popular luxury SUVs/crossovers - Q3 2016

One segment that we didn’t look at last quarter is the luxury SUV and crossover segment. In our first look at this high-priced, high-margin segment of vehicles, we see Land Rover leading the way with its Range Rover. Porsche makes its debut in our top 10 lists, placing both the Macan and Cayenne, and Audi places three luxury SUVs into the top 10 list.

The Top 100 Automotive Models for Q3 2016

Rank Make Model Visibility Rank Change Q2-Q3
1 Chevrolet Corvette 8.63% 0
2 Ford F150 7.06% 0
3 Ford Mustang 6.26% 0
4 Jeep Wrangler 4.92% 2
5 Dodge Ram 3.07% -1
6 Jeep Cherokee 2.72% 3
7 Honda Civic 2.20% -2
8 Toyota Tundra 2.04% 8
9 Chevrolet Camaro 1.86% 1
10 Chevrolet Silverado 1.80% 2
11 Dodge Charger 1.78% 0
12 Subaru Forester 1.66% 7
13 Subaru Outback 1.63% 8
14 Honda Accord 1.61% -7
15 Chevrolet Tahoe 1.41% -2
16 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 1.28% -1
17 Mazda Mazda3 1.21% 9
18 Nissan GT-R 1.12% 2
19 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 1.12% 6
20 Honda Cr-V 1.09% 2
21 Nissan Altima 1.05% 15
22 Chevrolet Colorado 1.03% 9
23 Volkswagen Passat 0.99% 11
24 Honda CR-Z 0.96% -16
25 Toyota Rav4 0.92% 17
26 Chevrolet Impala 0.92% 7
27 Nissan Maxima 0.83% 0
28 GMC Yukon 0.79% 0
29 Audi A4 0.78% 0
30 Mazda Mazda6 0.77% 20
31 Toyota Camry 0.63% 26
32 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 0.62% 13
33 Toyota 4runner 0.62% 10
34 Mazda Miata 0.61% 4
35 Audi A6 0.61% 2
36 Land Rover Range Rover 0.60% 33
37 BMW M5 0.58% 14
38 Chevrolet Cruze 0.57% 10
39 Chevrolet Malibu 0.57% 14
40 Toyota Corolla 0.56% 16
41 Ford Taurus 0.56% 23
42 Chevrolet Suburban 0.54% 4
43 Jaguar XJ 0.53% 9
44 Ford Escape 0.52% 3
45 Porsche Macan 0.51% 23
46 Dodge Durango 0.49% 19
47 Ford Super Duty 0.47% 24
48 Subaru WRX 0.46% 18
49 BMW 5 Series 0.45% 5
50 Kia Optima 0.44% 25
51 Toyota Sienna 0.44% 44
52 Porsche Cayman 0.44% 11
53 Volkswagen Touareg 0.41% 24
54 Hyundai Elantra 0.41% 27
55 Acura MDX 0.41% 18
56 Jeep Renegade 0.40% 24
57 Jaguar F-Pace 0.38% 22
58 Hyundai Santa Fe 0.38% 20
59 Toyota Tacoma 0.38% 15
60 Jeep Patriot 0.38% -20
61 Volkswagen Beetle 0.37% 33
62 Audi A5 0.36% 25
63 Honda HR-V 0.35% 19
64 Volkswagen Jetta 0.34% 44
65 Nissan Murano 0.34% 39
66 Kia Sorento 0.32% 41
67 Jeep Grand Cherokee 0.32% 34
68 Audi S6 0.32% 4
69 Hyundai Genesis 0.31% 20
70 Porsche Cayenne 0.31% 0
71 Kia Soul 0.31% -22
72 Mercedes-Benz SLK 0.30% 21
73 Cadillac Escalade 0.29% 24
74 Nissan Versa 0.29% -35
75 Audi Q7 0.29% 15
76 Audi Q5 0.28% 9
77 Mitsubishi Lancer 0.27% 9
78 Audi S5 0.27% 28
79 Nissan Pathfinder 0.27% 45
80 Scion xB 0.25% 31
81 Ford Focus 0.25% -58
82 Audi S4 0.25% 10
83 Audi SQ5 0.25% 13
84 Scion tC 0.25% 16
85 Audi A8 0.25% 3
86 Hyundai Veloster 0.24% 43
87 Ford Fusion 0.23% -32
88 GMC Canyon 0.23% 11
89 Hyundai Accent 0.23% 13
90 Ford Transit 0.22% -6
91 Kia Sportage 0.21% 47
92 Nissan Sentra 0.21% 49
93 Nissan Armada 0.21% 35
94 Porsche Panamera 0.20% 54
95 Audi S8 0.19% 19
96 Kia Forte 0.19% 20
97 Toyota Prius 0.19% 37
98 Dodge Viper 0.19% 15
99 Infiniti Q50 0.18% 37
100 Subaru Impreza 0.18% 19
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