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:
Comparing with data from our Q2 Automotive Digital Brand Exposure Index, we can see how the top 9 most-visible brands’ changed:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|36||Land Rover||Range Rover||0.60%||33|