When you read headlines like “Ford To Phase Out Traditional Ford Sedans,” it can be surprising, but Ford is really taking a modern tact to selling cars – following the will of the consumers. In our Q1, 2018 edition of the Swoop Automotive Digital Brand Exposure Index, our quarterly look at the cars, trucks and other vehicles dominating digital interest, we find a world in which a full 54% of online interest in vehicles is focused on trucks, SUVs, crossovers and vans.

Digital Interest by Vehicle Type:

This is not a new trend – SUVs and pickup trucks have long dominated the Swoop Auto Index, with Ford’s F-150 and Jeep’s Wrangler owning a constant position in the top-5 most popular vehicles – but the decline in interest in compact and midsize cars combined with Americans’ falling back in love with SUVs in recent years is informing major automakers’ model line planning.

Quarterly, the SUV/Crossover segment has taken a hit, along with midsize sedans, with pickup trucks, luxury sedans and luxury SUVs/crossovers picking up the slack:

Interestingly, Alternative Fuel vehicles also continue to tumble in digital interest. This may be because more automakers are bringing out alternative-fuel versions of existing vehicles – a la the Camry Hybrid – rather than creating specific Alternative Fuel vehicles, which we would categorize as such – a la the Prius.

Top-Performing Auto Brands:

So, among the automakers with a presence in the United States, who gets the most eyeballs online?

Americans apparently like reading about American automakers. Like last quarter, Chevy, Ford Honda, Jeep and Dodge make up the 5 most-read-about automakers on the Internet. And driving that popularity is:

Top-Performing Vehicles:

The Ford F-150 has re-taken the #1 spot from the Jeep Wrangler. The Corvette continues to slide – after being the #1 most-read-about vehicle online in our first ever Swoop Automotive Index and holding that spot for several quarters, it has now fallen behind the F-150, Wrangler and Ford Mustang into 4th place.

However, Chevrolet’s flagship pickup truck, the Silverado, has jumped up two spots past Honda’s Civic and Accord to #6, taking advantage of the Q1 2018 bump in pickup truck interest.

What’s Coming Next:

With a preponderance of interest in larger, less fuel-efficient categories of automobile, it will be interesting to see how Q2 2018 results look – with a recent rise in gas prices nationwide, we at Swoop will make sure to keep an eye on auto interest as the summer approaches.

For more information on Swoop’s automotive research or to inquire about running ads across Swoop’s network of high-performing endemic auto sites, contact us today.