Top 10 automotive influencers dealership owners need to follow

Top 10 automotive influencers dealership owners need to follow

Purchasing a new or used vehicle is one of the largest buying decisions a consumer will make. As such, automotive industry brands need to consider how they educate potential buyers to help them make the most informed decisions possible. From brand awareness to eventually driving off the lot, automotive influencers with a dedicated and engaged following are the perfect partners to help retailers steer car buyers through the customer journey.  

What is a car influencer?

A car influencer creates digital content focused primarily on the automotive industry. These creators have a minimum of 1,000 engaged followers that have been naturally accumulated through compelling content and genuine interactions. A successful car influencer is a trendsetter and can persuade their audience to make the right choices when it comes to cars, parts, and accessories. 

Automotive influencer taking selfie on yellow car

Buying a car is a major expense for most people, and research shows that the automotive consumer journey almost always starts online. According to Think with Google, 95% of vehicle shoppers use online resources to find answers to car-buying questions and spend about 14 hours online before making a final decision. This trend led to a 65% spike in “test drive” videos on Youtube – one of the largest hubs for car influencers – over the past two years. 

According to Business Wire, friend and family recommendations are the single most influential source for car buyers. This makes influencers who have built trust and credibility with their audience the perfect partners for automotive brands that want to get their products in front of consumers looking to make an informed buying decision.

While prospective buyers spend most of their time researching their purchases online, the percentage of vehicles sold entirely online is well under 10%. Car shoppers, however, are increasingly open to the idea of completing the entire car-buying process online– especially as a result of the pandemic. 

Bar graph of How Open Are US Car Shoppers to Digitally Buying a Car Since the Spread of the Coronavirus
Image via eMarketer


In light of shifting consumer perception, the time is now for marketers to go all in on auto influencers and get ahead of the game in the evolving car-buying landscape.  as the car-buying landscape naturally evolves. 

Successful automotive influencer campaigns

1. Toyota


Toyota partners with a wide range of influencers, but one of their more successful campaigns came from a collaboration with YouTuber Louis Cole, better known online as FunForLouis. Toyota sponsored Louis’ road trip down the California coast, which he vlogged about daily on his YouTube channel

2. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes loves using branded hashtags when working with notable influencers. The company typically collaborates with travel and adventure creators who provide a behind-the-scenes look at their lives with the Mercedes-Benz brand serving as the backdrop. 

3. Cadillac 

Cadillac ran a successful partnership with Nick Wooster for Milan Fashion Week in 2016. The Fashion consultant showed off various Cadillac models to his nearly 1 million Instagram followers and helped the brand reach a new demographic. 

Types of influencers that work for the automotive industry

There is a wide variety of creators that can find success as automotive influencers. With 276 million vehicles registered in the United States and 91% of American families having access to a car, the automotive industry is relatable to virtually anyone with a social media account. Even the infamous OJ Simpson “car chase” in 1994 boosted Ford Bronco sales by nearly 24%, proving that a captivated audience is not to be underestimated when it comes to driving sales. 

That said, there are a few specific types of creators brands should target as automotive influencers:


  • Automotive influencers: This is the obvious choice. These creators are the most informed about the products they promote and can give their audience a full scope of a vehicle’s capabilities by producing content from behind the steering wheel. The knowledge these creators possess will build the credibility brands need to make consumers feel comfortable making that first purchase. 
  • Fashion influencers: These creators pair perfectly with automakers who want to make their cars seem stylish and en vogue. Volvo, a company that is often associated with station wagons and soccer moms, used fashion influencers like Aimee Song to successfully appeal to a wider, hipper audience. 
  • Outdoor/adventure influencers: These on-the-go influencers are known for getting out and doing things, and more often than not, they are using a vehicle to get there. These creators are perfect for automakers who want to show the diverse capabilities, endurance, or dependability of their car, truck, or SUV. 

The rising success of female automotive influencers

From technicians to racers, the automotive industry used to be dominated by men. But gender representation has found its level over the years. And considering women influence or directly make 85% of all automotive buying decisions, a new wave of female automotive influencers has become of utmost importance for brands hoping to drive sales through influencer marketing. Fortunately, there are plenty of women in the auto industry crushing it on social media and becoming true champions for their favorite brands. 

Most successful platforms for automotive influencers


With more than 2.85 billion monthly active users, Facebook is still the king of social media. Its users skew to an older demographic with more disposable income for expensive products. Most successful automotive influencers have a brand-specific Facebook account they use to reach these users through photos, videos, and engaging live feeds. 


YouTube also boasts more than 2 billion monthly active users and is perhaps the most popular platform for automotive influencers. YouTube creators produce some of the highest quality content, and the platform’s library of long-form videos allows influencers to give their audience a comprehensive look at whatever product they are promoting. This is especially important for car buyers who want to learn everything they can about a vehicle before making a purchase. 


Instagram is by far the most personal of the three platforms. Influencer marketing thrives on leveraging genuine, authentic, and engaged brand-creator relationships – and perhaps no platform does this better than Instagram. The platform also makes it much easier for retailers to branch out into other industries to find influencers in different niches to promote their brands through quick posts or stories. 

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