Spain leads digital automotive Europe, but UK loves YouTube!

Spain, France, Germany and the UK all feature highly in Europe's automotive digital development.

According to reports from digital analysts Sophus3, digital engagement between consumers and the automotive industry is alive and well and booming in Europe.

Spanish Kia website

Going digital in Spain Image: Findlay Kia

According to the company's AMI Automotive Intelligence Report, Spain leads the way both for active engagement and mobile.  A record 280m online actions relating to automotive were recorded by Sophus3 in Q4 2017, with 63% of Spain's digital activity on car brand online platforms coming via smartphones - 6% up on the previous year.

However, the French were busiest when it came to automotive websites specifically, with 64m visits to auto sites, some four million ahead of Germany and five million up on the UK.

British consumers are clearly keen on video, with YouTube dominating the nation's auto engagement, recording a massive 92m clicks on car brand films by consumers using the channel.

When it comes to the manufacturers, perhaps unsurprisingly SEAT, along with Kia and Peugeot, dominated Spanish interest. Elsewhere, however, VW topped the brand list ahead of Ford, Audi and BMW.

These figures are further supported by Sophus3's latest study of digital car buying. With a record 1.3bn visits tracked during throughout 2017, the average number of brands a car buyer considers online has increased to around six.

The research 'journey' has also shortened to 13.5 days from first visit of a website to test drive request. That said, online 'completions' such as requesting a test drive, remain very low at just 0.1% of visitors.

Sophus3's predictions for 2018 include driverless technology being the most disruptive influence on business models and brand propositions; China displacing the US as leader in automotive and digital marketing innovation; and brands being able to pivot their PCP and other finance models around a Mobility as a Service offer.