Auto Brands:
Earned & Owned
media in 2023

Auto brands receive significant media coverage, but their owned media properties are also a hotbed of engagement.

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Auto sector coverage

For this report, we looked at eight specific brands or groups of brands, including Tesla, Ford, VW, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis, Toyota, and BMW.

Tesla stood out with the highest level of engagement, surpassing other brands by a significant margin, with over nine million engagements on content related to it.

On the other hand, BMW had the least engagement, falling well below its German rival Mercedes-Benz, who had almost double the engagement of BMW.

In the next section of this report, we’ll look at the timing of engagement for each of these brands, as well as the stories that drove that engagement 

Brand coverage by engagement

Auto sector coverage

Before we dive into the brand-specific coverage, it’s worth noting that we also looked at the top websites that covered the brands, with some potential surprises in there for those less familiar with the sector.

The mainstream press was almost nowhere to be found among car news, with only Business Insider really cracking the top five in terms of public interest in stories about the eight auto brands we looked at.

The runaway winner of this analysis was Motor Trend, which was the only publisher to crack a million engagements in the 90-day period we examined. This was thanks to a wide array of articles, covering everything from classic cars to speculating about what future models might look like, or what impact they might have on the market.

Teslarati’s coverage, as you might expect, tended to focus mostly on Teslas. However, it also covered other electric vehicles, which brought the specialist publisher more than half a million engagements.

In the following pages, we’ll dive into what drove the most engaged coverage for the different brands.

Top websites covering selected brands


The crown in terms of media and public interest — as is often the case — went to Tesla, with Elon Musk driving a significant chunk of engagement for the electric vehicle brand.

The brand had four engagement peaks over the course of the last three months. The first peak was about the company lowering prices and buyers feeling ‘duped’.

The second peak at the end of January pertained to Elon Musk being cleared by a jury over tweets about Tesla.

The third peak had mixed causes but included a full recall for the self-driving beta software.

Lastly, the fourth peak was about Elon Musk calling for the release of Jan. 6 prisoner, QAnon Shaman.

Public interest in Tesla in the last three months


Renders of Toyota’s future designs kicked up excitement for the brand, with the top two stories both looking at future potential models.

These featured the Camry and the Tacoma specifically, with each design responsible for tens of thousands of engagements for the automobile reporting website Motor Trend. 

In fact, out of the top five articles highlighting Toyota, only one was sourced from a website other than Motor Trend, with a feature on Toyota & Suzuki appearing on Motor 1.

Public interest in Toyota in the last three months


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