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Automotive Report

2020 Automotive Reputation Report Update

We analyzed 18,000 automotive brands and dealerships in the United States, and 15,000 more across Canada and Europe, during a year marked by seismic change. 

# 1

Positive sentiment during the pandemic

A dealership’s valet service is the Number One new driver of positive sentiment during the pandemic. A good valet service addresses customers’ desire to minimize time around other people inside brick-and-mortar locations.

10 %

Increase in average sales volume

Auto dealerships that effectively manage their digital reputations see up to a 10% increase in average sales volume.

100 X

Growth in reviews since the pandemic

Customer feedback matters more than ever. Dealership hygiene is a key driver of negative sentiment in the Covid-19 era. Mentions of personal health and safety have grown 100X in reviews of dealerships since the pandemic hit — and it’s an overwhelming consumer concern.

Why You Should Read This Report

Measured on a scale of 0 to 1,000, Reputation Score looks at a location’s sentiment, visibility, and engagement across nine elements.

Unlike other industry report cards, Reputation Score delivers actionable insights helping businesses streamline operations and drive revenue gains.

How Covid-19 Has Changed Automotive Shopping

The Covid-19 pandemic has not only disrupted the industry – it’s also shaped how people shop for cars. We analyzed how people searched for dealerships online and their ratings/reviews across thousands of U.S. dealerships between January and September 2020.

Our research reveals what customers care about during the pandemic – and how dealerships are responding.


This report ranks on OEM brands. and dealerships spanning the United States, Canada, and Europe. Key findings include:

  • The automotive industry has the highest average Reputation Score and star rating – 594 and 4.5, respectively – of any major industry that we measure.
  • The bar is higher for making the Top 100 list. The top 100 dealerships this year earned a Reputation Score of 866 or above. That’s 272 points above the industry average.

In a year of dramatic and gut-wrenching disruption, automotive brands and dealerships are holding their own.

What Dealerships Should Do

To build their reputations going into 2021, dealerships need to own their digital presence by relying on reviews to get found, get chosen, and get better.

When dealerships get better, they get more reviews, which means they are more visible and more likely to be chosen – a virtuous cycle that drives customers to their dealership.

Attract More Prospective Sales and Service Customers

Star average. A strong star rating demonstrates a commitment to customer service and can influence customers’ decisions to choose a location.

Review volume. This represents the total quantity of reviews — both positive and negative — that have been written about a business. Review volume has a significant impact on locations’ search rankings and Reputation Score.

Review recency. Recently published reviews convey that the business is requesting feedback from their customers and that their customers are active and engaged. Newer reviews also help increase search rankings for locations.

Review spread. The spread refers to the total number of sites on which reviews are being posted — from Google and Facebook to dozens of industry-specific review sites. The broader the spread, the better.

Search impressions. This plays a role in how businesses look when customers search for locations on Google or other search engines. The higher a business or location appears in the search results, the easier it is for consumers to find it.

Review response. Responding to reviews demonstrates a commitment to customer experience and helps influence conversations about a brand.

Review length. The length of your reviews indicates how invested customers are in a business. It is a measure of how much time they were willing to spend giving feedback.

Listing accuracy. Locations with accurate online information — such as the correct address, phone number, and hours of operation — enable potential customers to find them easily.

About Reputation Reports

This report is part of Reputation.com’s series of Reputation Reports, analyzing key data and rankings in the most significant industries that matter most to consumers. Founded in 2013, Reputation.com is a SaaS-based platform that manages tens of millions of reviews and interactions across hundreds of thousands of customer touchpoints. The patented algorithms behind the Reputation Score are based on more than a decade of machine learning and data science expertise, providing businesses with a reliable index of brand performance that they can use to make targeted improvements.

After working with Reputation, they now get more than 10,000 survey responses per month, and have increased patient review volume 655 percent by using our tools to convert survey responses into Google reviews.

About Reputation

Reputation pioneered the online reputation management (ORM) category and now extends its leadership position to include its award-winning Reputation Experience Management (RXM) platform that consistently delivers innovative, customer-driven solutions. The SaaS-based platform manages tens of millions of reviews and interactions across hundreds of thousands of customer touchpoints. The patented algorithms behind Reputation Score X are based on more than a decade of deep machine learning and data science expertise, providing businesses with a reliable index of brand performance that they can use to make targeted improvements. Reputation.com has over 250 integration partners, including Google, Facebook, Salesforce, J.D. Power, Amazon and Web.com, and helps businesses of all sizes across industries Get Found, Get Chosen and Get Better.

Editorial & Design Team

  • John Bergstroem, Customer Insights Analyst
  • Rebecca Biestman, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Molly Blanco, Senior Manager, Customer Marketing
  • Ryan Brannen, Manager of Web Strategy and Design
  • David Deal, Writer and Editor
  • Amanda Devenport, Marketing Program Manager
  • Ali Fawaz, Managing Director, Head of Automotive Strategy
  • Jennie Held, Head of Content, Brand, and Digital
  • Gabi Klausner-Abrahamson, Lead Designer
  • John Nantau, General Manager, VP – Global Automotive
  • Brad Null, Chief Scientist
  • Brigit Valencia, Vice President, BOCA Communications

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