2018 was another year in which Americans bought lots of cars, and despite the growth of online car-buying options, feet on dealer lots remains the most important metric in selling new and used automobiles. At Swoop we pride ourselves on our ability to drive measurable visits to dealerships, and as such we have taken a microscope to dealer visits by brand for the entirety of 2018 to see who is getting the most traffic. All of our data is based on real, verifiable traffic to dealerships in the continental United States.

American Brands Get The Most Physical Traffic

The top six brands by dealership visits are all American – Ford and Chevrolet come in at number 1 and 2, significantly ahead of third-place Chrysler. Dodge, Jeep and RAM round out the top six before the first foreign brand, Toyota, appears – after another reasonably steep decline. The first luxury brand is, similarly, an American mainstay – GM’s Cadillac. Interestingly, Cadillac dealerships received more foot traffic than Hyundai, Kia and Subaru, three higher-selling brands. After Cadillac, the highest-trafficked luxury brand dealerships are Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, Audi and Acura, in that order.

Converting Foot Traffic To Car Sales

Once a potential buyer is on the lot, which brands do the best at converting them to cars leaving inventory? We took our location data and compared it to GoodCarBadCar’s November YTD sales by brand to find out. Here’s the results: Toyota, Subaru and Tesla appear to convert traffic into sales at the best rate, with Lincoln, Chrysler and Fiat performing the worst. The top two brands by raw traffic – Ford and Chevrolet – both do an above-average job of converting dealer visits to sales.

Multiple Brands, One Dealership

It should be noted that a visit to a dealership selling multiple brands – Chrysler Jeep Dodge, for example – is counted as a visit to each as location data cannot discern between a user’s brand intention. That level of distinction requires further data, which, while Swoop can and will optimize advertising campaigns with, was not included in this particular data exercise. For example, someone who is in Swoop’s truck intender segment visits a Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM dealership, it can be inferred that the individual is more interested in RAM than the other FCA brands. If, however, the visitor is in Swoop’s luxury SUV intender segment, it’s more likely they are interested in Jeep.

Find Intenders, Sell Cars

If you are looking to sell more cars, the best thing to do is to drive more foot traffic – specifically, more foot traffic of people who are likely to want to buy a vehicle you sell – to your dealer lots. Swoop has worked for years to accomplish just this; our auto intender segments are highly effective, built off of our cutting-edge AI and machine learning technology, and easy to add to your programmatic efforts. Contact Swoop today to see how we can utilize our location-aware targeting algorithms and highly-effective auto intender segments to drive more feet to your dealerships and more metal off your lots.