Widewail analyzed 1.1 million of the total four million review sample. - IMAGE: Widewail

Widewail analyzed 1.1 million of the total four million review sample.

IMAGE: Widewail

Widewail, a customer review and reputation management solution, released its 2024 Brand Scorecard, a study of the reputations and sentiments of 32 U.S. automotive manufacturers. Lexus earned the highest reputation ranking, followed by Toyota and BMW as second and third, respectively.

The study analyzed four million Google customer reviews across 14 luxury and 18 nonluxury automotive brands. More than a million reviews were used for topic analysis. The Brand Scorecard ranks automotive brands using Widewail’s proprietary reputation “health score,” a diverse methodology that reveals the full picture of any brand or dealer’s reputation and assigns a 0- to 00 rating. Factors incorporated within the report include regional performance, detailed brand sentiment performance across 27 topics, reputation performance, best-selling model performance, and top-rated dealers.

“There’s more competition than ever across the automotive retail industry, and reputation is a powerful differentiator that can meaningfully impact search ranking and sway customer decision-making in the car buying process,” said Widewail CEO Matt Murray. “Our 2024 Brand Scorecard is designed to provide automotive brands with a clear picture of what their customers say, how they stack up against their competition, and what factors drive their reputations. Lexus earned the top spot for reputation thanks to its high monthly review volume, an exceptionally high rate of response to reviews, and a very low percentage of negative reviews.”

Why Lexus?

For the calendar year 2023, Lexus, whose health score is 95/100, received a median monthly review volume of 21.2. Lexus’s median lifetime Google rating is 4.7/5. The company responded to 98% of its reviews, and only 8% of the total reviews left by Lexus customers were negative. Interestingly, Lexus and Toyota had the same median review volume, but Lexus edged out Toyota, thanks to slightly higher ratings and a 4% higher response rate.

The median monthly review volume benchmark across all automotive brands in calendar year 2023 is 10.4.

An analysis of review topics revealed that Lexus service is mentioned in 18.5% more positive Lexus reviews than the industry benchmark. Combined with 20.9% fewer negative mentions of repairs, 14.2% fewer negative mentions of communication, and 14.6% fewer negative mentions of service, Lexus customers enjoy a premium service experience. On the sales side, Lexus earned 7.4% above the industry benchmark for positive mentions of staff and 26% higher positive mentions of professionalism.

For Lexus, Minnesota represents its highest average monthly review volume state, attributed to Lexus of Wayzata, at 161.9 reviews per month in 2023.

Lexus’ best-selling vehicle, the Lexus RX, averages a 4.6/5 rating, according to customer reviews that mention the model name.

The Top 3

Toyota ranked second on the scorecard, earning a health score of 94/100. The driving factors for its ranking are outstanding review volume and good performance across other categories. Toyota’s monthly median volume is 21.2, the same as Lexus, but its median lifetime star rating is slightly lower at 4.5/5. Toyota responded to 94% of reviews, 12% of which were negative.

Toyota’s topic distribution largely falls in line with industry benchmarks. However, service helped its ranking, with 11.3% fewer negative service mentions and 13.5% fewer negative repair mentions, meaning comments related to an unsatisfactory repair are coming up less often in reviews left for Toyota than the industry.

BMW earned the third spot on the Brand Scorecard, with a health score of 91/100. BMW’s health score was bolstered by standout positive performance in both service and communication. Compared to industry benchmarks, customer reviews revealed 21.2% more positive mentions of service and 34.8% more positive mentions of communication.

Other Highlights

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  • The top five ranked brands beat industry benchmarks in the most influential service categories: service, communication, wait times and repairs. As the leading drivers of negative reviews, top-ranked brands consistently outperform in these areas.
  • Genesis and Lincoln, whose health scores ranked them at the bottom of the list, have unusually low review volume and poor response rates. Such a lack of customer engagement is surprising for two luxury brands.
  • Import brands dominate the rankings. The first American brand on the list is RAM, which secured the 15th overall spot.

To learn more about the 2024 Widewail Brand Scorecard, visit the website.

Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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