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High Gear: Auto Insights from Factual and Snap

Today’s auto shoppers are actively engaged, armed with a wealth of information, and, most importantly, are open to new makes and models. A recent study found that most car buyers are undecided at the start of the shopping process, with only 1 in 3 car buyers knowing the exact vehicle they want to purchase. This leaves a huge opportunity for auto marketers to sway the younger generations during their search for the perfect four-wheeled companion.

We teamed up with Snap to uncover how today’s car shopper navigates the auto buying journey and how some of the top auto brands in the US stack up against their competition. From our new High Gear Report, some key findings:

Ford is dominating in the U.S., but younger generations are starting to look elsewhere.

Using footfall as a proxy for consideration, we found that Ford has wide appeal across the US, with its many dealerships seeing more footfall than any other. As seen below, Ford clearly comes out on top, followed by Chevy, Toyota, and Buick.  

When it comes to the younger-skewing Snapchat crowd, however, other brands prove to be more appealing. While Ford maintains its dominance in the Midwest, Snapchatters in the western part of the country prefer Honda, while their counterparts in the South and Northeast prefer Nissan and Jeep, respectively.

For some brands, their strongest competition comes from within.

Buyers often appear to shop within a particular brand’s portfolio. For four brands (Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen), their #1 competitor was a brand in their automotive family, many of which were higher end. For BMW, MINI looks to be their #1 competitor.

Today’s shopper considers their next auto purchase holistically.

A car is no longer just a way to get from Point A to Point B. Shoppers are choosing cars and brands that align with their greater set of lifestyle choices, which means auto brands should consider how other purchase behaviors influence a prospective buyer’s auto decision. To see how Honda shoppers compare to Volvo shoppers and more, and for additional auto insights, download the full High Gear Report here