Mitsubishi has re-entered the top 20 of the Experian Hitwise UK Automotive Brand Index for the first time since March 2011.
The Index, which reveals the 20 most searched for automotive manufacturers online in the UK, saw Mitsubishi ranked in 19th place this quarter, up from 23rd place in September 2011.
While there was no change in the top four places, further down the rankings there was considerable flux as Land Rover overtook Vauxhall, Mini bypassed Honda, and Skoda swapped places with Fiat. Although Mitsubishi returned to the top 20, fellow Japanese manufacturer Mazda dropped to 22nd place, its lowest quarterly ranking of 2011.
Between October 2011 and December 2011 Renault climbed three places in the Index to become the 12th most searched for automotive brand in the UK.
Renault accounted for 2.75% of all automotive brand searches this quarter, in part due to the announcement of its new electric car the Renault ZE. The ZE was the fourth most searched for Renault model this quarter after the Clio, Megane and Scenic. Almost 1% of all search terms this quarter which included the word ‘Renault’ also included the word ‘electric’ - further illustrating the brand’s alignment with electric cars.
Land Rover accounted for 6.43% of all branded searches this quarter, taking it to fifth place in the Index. The Range Rover Evoque was the most searched for Land Rover model of the quarter.
Over 10% of all Land Rover searches were for the Evoque between October and December, followed by the Land Rover Defender which accounted for 7% of all Land Rover searches. Meanwhile, Vauxhall slipped to sixth place this quarter with 5.77% of all branded searches.
James Murray, marketing research Analyst at Experian Hitwise, said: “This has been another fascinating quarter in the Automotive industry with 11 of the top 20 brands changing position in our Brand Index and Land Rover, Mini, Renault, Skoda and Mitsubishi climbing up the rankings.
“Although the top four brands remained unchanged, less than 1% of total branded searches separate first from fourth place, with Ford and Volkswagen very tightly contested indeed.”