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 Q4, 2017, who did the best in the battle of the organic digital footprint? Who ended the year with the most online momentum, and what cars, trucks and SUVs were dominating computer screens?


Chevrolet is still #1. In fact, compared to last quarter, the only change among the top 9 most-visible brands is Dodge and Toyota swapping positions. Chevrolet and Ford both extended their lead on the pack by approximately one percentage point:


Who picked up points over the last quarter? As noted, both Chevy and Ford picked up some visibility – 0.6% and 0.4% respectively (we round the overall percentage to whole numbers, which is why each one appeared to pick up one percentage point in the previous graph). Volkswagen and Lexus both had nice gains, while Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Nissan all lost roughly half a point. Toyota showed the biggest drop at one percent, explaining why Dodge was able to overtake the Japanese auto giant for 5th place in Q4:

Over the course of a full year, though, Chevy and Ford are down over a percentage point each, along with German standards Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Honda, Dodge, Jeep and Lexus are all up – Honda at an impressive 4.7%:


Congratulations to Jeep, your Wrangler holds the exceedingly prestigious #1 Most Visible Automobile in North America Award As Determined By Swoop award for a second quarter in a row:

As usual, we see a preponderance of sports cars and pickup trucks in the top 10 most-visible automobiles. Americans like pickup trucks, fast cars, and apparently fuel-efficient Japanese consistency machines.


Chevy had a great quarter from an individual vehicle perspective – the Bolt, Traverse and Equinox all were in the top 10 models gaining visibility ranks. Ford placed two – the Expedition and Explorer – while Lexus placed two, including the biggest gainer of the quarter, the LS Series:

Buick, Volkswagen and Land Rover round out the top 10 individual gainers with the Enclave, Golf and Range Rover, respectively.

For more information on Swoop’s Automotive Index or to start running ads across Swoop’s network of endemic auto sites, reach out today.