Auto Recovery Boosts Spot, Nielsen Says

NEW YORK – Nielsen says its most recent “Insight into Action” series installment indicates that the U.S. auto industry is improving. In fact, the auto industry is likely to sell about 15 million new vehicles in 2012, a mark not reached in five years.

The increase in demand has sparked a fight for market share, leading to increased advertising. Spot TV ad spend in the auto industry increased 26 percent from Q2 2011 to Q2 2012, and the auto industry currently spends nearly $6 billion yearly on advertising, targeting $2.8 billion on spot TV. With the current outlook, cable and spot TV could see nice gains from this sector.

Factories, local dealerships and dealer associations have different ad spending habits. Factory ad spend is generally spread across magazine, spot TV and broadcast and cable. Dealer associations tend to stick to spot TV advertising; in contrast, local dealers also continue to spend about two-thirds of their budgets in print and only use about a third of their ad money on spot TV.

American-made autos are seeing an uptick in sales, driven in part, perhaps by Midwesterners who often favor these vehicles. The luxury market is looking strong also, with credit to Hispanics who represent a quarter of buyers looking at luxury automobiles – a key factor when targeting this market.