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BIS COVID Top Automotive Rankings

The automotive industry has an average Brand Intimacy Quotient of 48.4, well above the cross-industry average of 38.3. Toyota continues to rank first in the industry, up from fifth position before the pandemic. Harley-Davidson, BMW, and Honda all showed improvement; Chevrolet, Ford, and Mercedes all declined. Consumer frustration with supply chain issues may have influenced some brands’ performance.

Industry Performance

Automotive maintained its second place behind media & entertainment during the pandemic. Automotive ranks first among all industries for the highest percentage of users in sharing and bonding, the earliest and middle stages of Brand Intimacy. Compared to our previous COVID study, the category also has improved its performance in fusing—the ultimate stage of Brand Intimacy.

Although the industry has faced manufacturing and supply chain challenges related to COVID, Brand Intimacy performance has increased by an average of 5 percent since before the pandemic. Despite the hardships imposed by COVID on people and businesses, this period has actually drawn consumers closer to brands and created stronger emotional relationships.

Archetypes & Stages

Automotive brands continue to rank higher than the industry average for fulfillment, which is associated with performance, and identity, which is linked to aspiration and shared values. It continues to be the top-ranked industry for sharing and bonding, two of the three stages that measure the depth and intensity of intimate relationships.

Study Average

Key Findings & Trends

Fulfillment is the dominant archetype for automotive brands, and Toyota is the top brand for fulfillment in the industry. This year, more than 49 percent of users have an increased positive emotional connection with automotive brands, and there has been a 47 percent increase in consumers willing to pay 20 percent or more for automotive products.

Head-to-Head Comparison

Comparing the top two automotive brands, Toyota and Harley-Davidson, we see Toyota exhibiting stronger archetype associations in fulfillment, enhancement, and ritual. Harley-Davidson has more customers in the sharing and bonding stages and shows a particularly large lead in sharing, but Toyota leads in fusing.

Head to Head

* This is a ranked sub-brand. We share its industry performance. Given its similar profile, see parent brand for overall ranking.

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