Automotive Market Research Articles

Auto industry market research, auto industry trends & analysis, market research in automotive industry, vehicle registration data.

Big Data Shootout: Mustang vs Camaro vs Challenger Vehicles in Operation (VIO) Stats

big data shootout vehicle registrations

We looked at our US vehicle registration database of 246.9 million vehicles to see who’s winning the new vehicle registration statistics for 2014. The results of our Big Data Shootout looking at new Vehicles in Operation (VIO) were a little surprising. We took registration data for new 2014 Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Mustangs and Dodge Challengers and pitted these late model muscle cars head-to-head for our first Big Data Shootout. We wanted to see which car had the most total registrations, as well as the biggest increase or decrease from last year. We analyzed year-to-date registrations through May 2014 and...

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Everything You Need to Know About Using Vehicles in Operation (VIO) Registration Analysis

We get a lot of questions on US vehicle registration data and the vehicle registration database so here are some important things you need to know about buying and using automotive registration data. Original sources for VIO vehicle registration data The original sources for all vehicle registration data we use for analysis are state Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs), the OEMs (Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, etc.) and the OEM captive finance companies (an example is Ford Motor Credit Company, LLC, commonly just called “Ford Credit”). Note that this is not the same as mailing lists, which do not come from...

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How Online Auto Parts Buyers Shop for Parts & Accessories

If you sell auto parts online, then your website needs to make a great first impression because online shoppers are fleeting. This is good information to keep in mind if you’re marketing your online parts store with an automotive paid search or SEO campaign. In a recent study published by Google, it was revealed that auto parts buyers visit a lot of sites, tend to not come back much, and make fairly quick decisions. Here are some highlights of the Google online shopping study. 3 out of 4 shoppers visit several auto parts sites before buying online Most auto parts...

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Automotive Industry Trends: Auto Parts & Tire Stores Start 2014 With 3.1% Sales Increase

auto parts and tire stores retail sales april 2014

Automotive parts and tire stores are showing a sales increase over last year, in one of the important automotive industry trends for 2014. Brick and mortar auto parts, auto accessory and tire stores showed a 3.7% sales increase in April 2014, over April 2013 (see chart at left). That’s a strong follow up to a 4.0% increase in March, compared to one year ago in March 2013. Aftermarket car parts sales YTD: auto parts retail sales up 3.1% January 2014 showed a 2.5% increase and February had a 2.1% increase, over one year ago. That puts 2014 auto parts...

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Auto Parts Sales: Is Google Forecasting a Good 2nd Quarter?

Google automotive

A promising second quarter of 2014 for auto parts and tire sales may be on the way, based off data from Google Trends. The ability to use Google Trends to forecast certain things such as flu outbreaks is well documented. We used data from Google to plot changes in search volume for the Vehicle Parts & Accessories search category (blue line), against changes in retail sales of auto parts, accessories and tires (red). The correlation is stunning. This chart shows changes in search volume for all searches in the US in the Vehicle Parts & Accessories category. This is plotted against against changes...

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Auto Parts Marketing: Online Sales of Parts & Accessories to Hit $5 Billion in 2014

Online sales of auto parts

Note: this article was originally published in April 2014,  for an updated forecast, click here for a more current article. If you’re marketing automotive parts online, parts and accessories once again showed a significant sales increase over traditional brick and mortar retail sales in 2013. The dramatic transition in the automotive industry from brick and mortar to online continues to be one of the important auto parts industry trends to watch. This year will be our industry’s first year over $5 billion in online auto parts sales. Online sales in 2013 (excluding auctions) showed nearly a 16% increase over 2012 and online sales...

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Top Automobile Industry Trends for 2014

Top Automobile Industry Trends for 2014

New vehicle registrations grew 7.2% in 2013 and here are some of the important automotive industry trends that “drove” growth, which makes them important trends for 2014. Over 15.2 million vehicles were registered in 2013 so let’s jump into the registration records and examine the hot trends shaping the automotive industry. Electric and hybrid vehicles provide a spark for auto sales It’s no secret, it seems like everyone’s talking about Tesla. Registrations for electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids that run on both gas and electric power, are way up. In 2013, registration records of hybrid vehicles including the Toyota...

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Automotive SEO Ranking Factors and Correlations Study

automotive SEO correlation factors moz

If you sell automotive parts or services online then you need to know what we discovered in our automotive SEO ranking factors and correlations study. This study evaluated factors that may contribute to a high SEO ranking in Google. This market research should be interesting to SEMA, Auto Care Association, MEMA or AASA members. Only Google knows the actual factors that contribute to high organic rankings and this study doesn’t “prove” these factors will result in a high automotive SEO rankings. But, for organic search results, it does show what highly-ranked automotive web pages have in common. We’re indebted...

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Google Auto Aftermarket SEO & PPC Predictions for 2014

SERP heat map Google automotive SEO

Here are our 5 Google automotive SEO and paid search predictions for 2014. Regular readers of this blog may be familiar with our previous Google predictions for the SEMA industry, which we’re proud to say, have mostly been on target. Prediction #1 for 2014: Automotive SEO and paid search continues to be a battle for real estate, not just position We made this prediction a year ago and it’s an even more important auto industry trend SEO efforts, or paid search (PPC) marketing. A few years ago automotive SEO and paid search was all about position—marketers wanted to be...

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Why Long Tail Search Changed Automotive SEO and Paid Search Forever

long tail search google

In SEO or automotive paid search, long tail keywords are the key to gaining more traffic and more sales. This has become even more important with Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm update, signaling huge new opportunity in search engine optimization. This is an important automotive aftermarket trend for 2013 and beyond, if you sell online. Auto SEO and long tail search keywords defined First, let’s define what long tail searches are and why they’re important for automotive SEO and paid search, especially in the aftermarket. Long tail keywords are phrases used in search using three or more words, such as...

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Top 5 Aftermarket Online Holiday Sales Days

Christmas shopping auto parts

We recently participated in a free webinar to help companies in the automotive aftermarket prepare for 2013 online holiday shopping, called “6 Ways to Increase Online Sales This Holiday Season,” along with the web experts at WebShopManager. As the holiday selling season approaches you’ll want to prepare your email marketing plan and work on your search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC)/paid search marketing plans, as you plan for this important aftermarket industry trend. Top holiday online sales days: 2012 and 2013 If you sell automotive parts and accessories online and you are planning for the holidays,...

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Top 6 Auto Aftermarket Trends Halfway Through 2013

truck registration records

Automobile and truck sales are up this year, so here are the top six auto industry trends and aftermarket trends to watch based on vehicle registrations for the first half of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. Total vehicle registrations are up +7.6% over last year, with 7,755,110 total new vehicles registered through June 2013. Here are the automotive trends that are really driving sales growth this year: Auto Industry Trend 1: Trucks and SUVs are hot. New car registrations are up 4.9% but light trucks and SUVs, like this Ford F-150 (right), are helping fuel the...

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Auto Parts Customer Behavior in Google Analytics (or, Where the Heck Do My Customers Come From??)

You can improve automotive SEO  and Google AdWords paid search results by understanding how automotive parts and accessory customers originally find your website, and how they return to make a purchase. You can discover a lot of information hidden in the Multi-Channel Funnels reporting section of Google Analytics (menu shown at left) so as an automotive aftermarket digital marketing agency we thought we’d pass this along in our blog. As Google puts it, “…these days, the customer journey has grown more complex.” Amen! Customers can come to your site from many marketing channels: social media, email, paid search ads...

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November 2012: Monthly Vehicle Sales vs Consumer Confidence

November 2012: Monthly Vehicle Sales vs Consumer Confidence

New automotive industry statistics: After a somewhat slow October 2012, the auto industry saw an increase in light vehicle sales for November 2012. October brought somewhat sluggish auto sales, yielding a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 14.23M, November came in strong with 1.14 million units sold, raising the SAAR to 15.48M. Experts are observing that the sales are partly driven by the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy. Edmunds.com noted that about 30,000 sales of automobiles were lost or deferred in October due to the superstorm. Also, between 200,000 and 250,000 vehicles were damaged or destroyed by Sandy,...

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September Slowdown for Auto Parts Retail Sales

Retail sales through auto parts stores were down again compared to one year ago. September sales were down 4% from September 2011, following a 1% decline in August. Auto parts retail sales for the first half of 2012 posted better than a 5% increase from 2011, aided in part by unseasonably warm weather in January and February; the second half of this year tells a different story, however. The third quarter ended with about a 1% decrease from the third quarter of 2011. Total October retail sales as reported by the government were down 0.3% from September, a sign...

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Why New Car Auto Sales Are Rising

SAAR and consumer confidence

With monthly auto sales rising here are reasons for the continuing increase in automobile and light truck sales in the face of a weak economy. The auto industry tracks monthly unit sales as a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) figure, which has been steadily rising since the summer of 2009. Monthly auto sales in September 2012 hit 14.9 million units, the highest level in over four years. And it could have been even higher because September was soft for fleet sales, meaning the September surge was primarily based on consumer demand (which in itself is a good economic sign,...

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