The Ford Fiesta ranked No. 2 in 3 out of 4 measures of online popularity in Q2.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC

Ford Fiesta, VW Polo make big moves in Web world

Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
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The Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo were big Web winners during the second quarter. Other stars were the Land Rover Discovery, BMW X6 and Toyota Yaris.

The Fiesta got a boost from being named Car of the Year by The Telegraph in May. The subcompact beat models such as the Volkswagen Golf, Range Rover Evoque and Jaguar XF. The British newspaper picked the Fiesta for its agility, comfortable ride, fuel-efficiency and safety features.

Helped by the victory, the Fiesta rose to No. 2 in online news during the quarter from No. 6 in the first quarter, according to data from UK-based researcher Kantar Media. The car climbed to fourth from sixth in Twitter posts, to second from No. 5 in blogs and maintained its No. 2 ranking in other social media.

The April debut of a feature-laden new version of the subcompact pushed the Polo into the top five in blogs and other social media, according to Kantar figures.

The car ranked outside the top five in both categories during the first quarter. The Polo also rose one place to No. 4 in online news coverage during the second three months of 2014. The gains came after VW started a campaign to promote the new Polo's addition of comfort and safety technologies such as emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and a system that detects driver fatigue.

The addition of new features helped boost the VW Polo's Web presence.

The release of details about the second-generation X6 dramatically increased online news coverage on the crossover. The X6, which is set to debut before the end of the year, climbed 63 places to No. 15 in the ranking during the second quarter.

Land Rover created huge online buzz when it announced in April that the Discovery Sport would be the first member of the UK automaker's newly created family of Discovery models. The announcement about the premium compact SUV, which will go on sale in 2015, caused the Discovery to jump 124 spots to No. 20 in online news during the quarter. That was the biggest leap during the quarter of any vehicle in the four different media tracked by the researcher.

The Volkswagen Golf defended its title as the king of the European Internet world. The Golf ranked No. 1 in online stories, blog mentions, and other social media feedback as well as No. 2 in Tweets during the second quarter, up from No. 3 in the first quarter. Land Rover's Range Rover was No. 1 for Tweets, according to Kantar Media, which tracks mentions of vehicles in the different media in five languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Kantar's second-quarter findings were based on 48,734 online news articles, 634,275 Tweets, 81,015 blog posts and 913,180 posts on other social media including publicly available pages on Facebook as well as image and video sites such as YouTube.

The data was collected from April 1, 2014 until June 30, 2014.

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

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