DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC

LaFerrari and Golf were Geneva Web winners

Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
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Ferrari's new supercar and Volkswagen's award-winning top seller were the big Web winners from this year's Geneva auto show, according to a study.

The seventh-generation VW Golf was the media champion of the show because of the debut of the GTI version of the compact as well as the car's recent victory in the 2013 European Car of the Year contest.

The new Golf was mentioned in 7.0 percent of all the online stories and blogs from journalists covering the event, according to UK-based Kantar Media. Second was the McLaren P1 (5.4 percent), the Alfa Romeo 4C was third (4.3 percent) followed by the Ferrari LaFerrari (4.1 percent) and Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible (3.9 percent).

Ferrari's debut of the new 963-hp LaFerrari accounted for a show-best 4.3 percent of all the consumer-generated social-media chatter. Ferrari says it will make 499 units of the LaFerrari, which has a pre-tax starting price of the 1 million euros. The McLaren P1, which rivals the LaFerrari in price and horsepower, ranked second in social media with 3.8 percent of feedback followed by the Golf (3.6 percent). The 3-million euro limited-edition Lamborghini Veneno was fourth (2.72 percent) followed by the Corvette (2.70 percent).

When it comes to brands, Volkswagen created the greatest amount of online buzz from Geneva with a mention in 7.1 percent of all Web news stories and blogs from the show, according to the study. Second was sister brand Audi (5.1 percent), which got a lot of attention because of its debut of two new versions of the A3, the E-tron plug-in hybrid and the G-tron, which is powered by natural gas. Mercedes-Benz and Toyota tied for third (4.8 percent) with BMW rounding out the top five (4.5 percent).

Ferrari dominated in social media with 6.6 percent of the chatter on Twitter, Facebook, forum posts and comments of video sites including YouTube. Toyota ranked second (6.3 percent) because of the GT86 coupe's second-place finish in the European Car of the Year voting and the debut of a convertible concept version of the GT86, the FT-86 Open. Audi was third (5.5 percent) followed by McLaren (5.1 percent) and Lamborghini (4.7 percent).

The study's findings are based on nearly 85,407 online news articles and blog posts and 122,762 social media posts and discussions from Feb. 1 until the end of the second press day (March 6).

You can reach Douglas A. Bolduc at dbolduc@crain.com.

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