Study: Top 10 talked about car brands in Singapore

Automotive brand BMW has been ranked top in share of voice in and the most favourable traditional media coverage in Singapore. According to an automotive report analysis by CARMA Asia, majority of BMW’s positive coverage referred to the brand’s advanced technology and driving dynamics. 

CARMA Asia analysed the overall prominence and favourability of automotive brands in local publications and on social media, and noted down details of leading brand attributes and key topics of discussion impacting the brand’s reputation. Other automotive brands analysed by CARMA Asia are Honda, Volvo, Hyundai, Toyota, Audi, Mazda, Volkswagen, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz.

BMW’s coverage in both print and online media highlights the following leading topics: products (57 articles), company strategy (28 articles) and hybrid technology (18 articles). Articles predominately focused on car reviews, BMW’s global vision and its plant’s closure due to COVID-19. BMW was also highly praised for its technology. Top Gear SG recognised its hybrid technology as being “way ahead of time”, and CarBuyer promoted its advanced in-car digital assistance as “the most advanced system of its kind”. Positive coverage was also earned from highly favourable reviews on BMW cars. 

However, BMW did face slight negative attention stemmed from its global financial outlook in March, which cited a significant decrease in production and pre-tax earnings during this worldwide pandemic.  

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Brands ranked high in positive sentiment

Separately, BMW came in second for positive sentiment (56%). These were attributed to Facebook posts promoting its cars and the Singapore Motor Show 2020. Topping the list was Audi, with 59% of positive sentiment. According to the study, Audi’s increased positive sentiments were due to favourable Facebook comments left on promotional car posts and Audi’s initiative to combat COVID-19 in Singapore. The automotive brand suspended its production plants and factories, and recently donated SG$7.9 million to support medical and social institutions for the COVID-19 crisis. Meanwhile in third place was Mercedes-Benz with 54% of highly positive Facebook comments about its cars on promotional car posts.

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Favourable reporting amid COVID-19

Meanwhile, CARMA Asia also explored the overall tone of news on COVID-19 reported for each brand. The report revealed that the general tone of coverage was predominantly neutral and many local publication cited articles from international sources. The main differentiator contributing to a more favourable rating score is the use of the brand’s CEO as spokesperson. 

BMW had more favourable coverage with CEO Oliver Zipse’s input on the COVID-19 impact, from articles off Reuters. Zipse addressing BMW’s sales, sales target and company strategy portrayed the brand’s optimism and confidence in managing this pandemic. According to the report, Zipse's point on sticking to target of achieving growth in car sales as well as secured supplies was widely covered by media outlets. 

Volvo emerged top for most favourable reporting, with a favourability rating of 60 from local media coverages cited from Reuters’ content, which has Volvo’s CEO Hakan Samuelsson addressing the COVID-19 situation. Samuelsson’s statements made the overall tone of reporting more favourable, the report said. An article reporting Volvo’s temporary plant closure included Samuelsson saying that the automotive brand's primary concerns are the health of its employees and the future of its business which was stood out for media outlets.