DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC

New Porsche 911 was Frankfurt's online superstar, study shows

The Frankfurt buzz winner: Porsche 911.
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Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
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Whether it was online stories from news outlets or Tweets and blogs from social media users, the launch of the new-generation Porsche 911 sparked the greatest amount of Web buzz from the Frankfurt auto show, according to a study.

The 911 helped German automakers dominate when it came to Web coverage of the biennial event, statistics from UK-based Kantar Media Precis show.

The second-ranked car based on news-outlet Web stories was the Mercedes-Benz B class, followed by the BMW i3 concept, Audi Urban Concept and Ford Evos Concept.

Audi and Ford were popular among bloggers and YouTube users, as the A2 concept and Urban Concept ranked No. 2 and No. 5 respectively. The Ford Focus and Evos concept held the third and fourth spots based on 5,666 social media posts, the study showed.

Having hard numbers on how the biggest show in Europe is covered online is enlightening because in the past it was difficult to know which stories and which cars were really resonating with Web readers. It looks like this is now changing.

The study's findings are based on articles or posts from two weeks before the first press day (Aug. 30, 2011) until the end of the second press day (Sept. 14, 2011).

Design and performance remained the key themes within show discussion, while debate on the potential uptake of electric vehicles was relatively stronger among social media users.

Between Aug. 30 and Sept. 14, 19,549 online news articles and 5,666 social media posts discussed the Frankfurt show.

According to the analysis, 59 percent of show discussion by volume took place before the first press day (55 percent for online news; 72 percent for social media). This shows that automakers are doing a good job creating interest in their brands and products in the weeks leading up to the show.

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

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