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Automotive Businesses to Spend $15.1 Billion on Local Advertising in 2015

May 11, 2015

New vertical industry advertising report profiles local media spending trends and consumer media usage habits in the automotive category

CHANTILLY, Va. (May 11, 2015) – In its latest vertical industry report, “Insights into Local Advertising – Automotive Vertical,” BIA/Kelsey estimates automotive organizations will spend more than $15.1 billion on local advertising in 2015, representing 11.1 percent of the $137.9 billion total local advertising market. Of this amount, 77 percent is expected to be allocated to traditional media.

“The auto industry and television came of age together as keystones of twentieth-century American culture,” said Dr. Mark Fratrik, SVP and chief economist BIA/Kelsey. “The two industries remain closely tied, with the auto industry being dependent on over-the-air television advertising, and all auto vertical subcategories relying heavily on traditional media to get their message to their audience.”

BIA/Kelsey estimates 33.9 percent of local automotive advertising budgets is spent on over-the-air television, and another 1.7 percent on TV online advertising. In addition to the heavy use of television, newspaper (14.7 percent), online (12 percent) and over-the-air radio (11.6 percent) account for meaningful traditional market shares in automotive local ad spending.

“Despite traditional media’s dominance in the current automotive marketing mix, digital advertising is on the rise, and will represent nearly one-third of automotive local ad spending by 2019,” added Dr. Fratrik.

Pure online advertising, consisting primarily of search, is the largest digital automotive channel. BIA/Kelsey projects all growth in local advertising for the automotive vertical category will occur on online/digital media, reaching 30 percent of total local advertising by 2019, up from 12 percent in 2015.

Industry subcategories featured in BIA/Kelsey’s automotive vertical forecast include auto dealers, other motor vehicle dealers, auto parts and accessory stores, tire dealers, and gas stations.

The data featured in the report is drawn from BIA/Kelsey’s Annual Local Media Forecast and Media Ad View Plus Reports, the company’s local market ad forecasts that track ad spending across media categories, ad categories and verticals.

Figures and tables in the report include:

  • U.S. Auto & Truck Sales, 2013-2014
  • Total Automotive Advertising by Media, 2014
  • Total Automotive Local Advertising: 2014-2019
  • 2015 Distribution of Automotive Spending by Media
  • 2019 Automotive Advertising Spending by Local Media
  • 2015 Distribution of Online Spending by Type
  • 2015 Per Capita Automotive Advertising Spending in the Top Ten Markets

The report also examines media’s impact on how consumers search for, purchase and maintain automobiles, as well as how consumer behavior affects marketing and media spend.

The automotive vertical report is the latest in a series by BIA/Kelsey, designed to help local media organizations understand the media spending trends and behaviors of advertisers within key vertical industries. A health care vertical industry report is currently available, with upcoming reports planned for financial, insurance and education.

More information about “Insights into Local Advertising – Automotive Vertical,” including how to purchase, can be found at

About BIA/Kelsey

BIA/Kelsey advises companies in the local media space through consulting and valuation services, research and forecasts, Custom Advisory Services and conferences. Since 1983 BIA/Kelsey has been a resource to the media, mobile advertising, telecommunications, Yellow Pages and electronic directory markets, as well as to government agencies, law firms and investment companies looking to understand trends and revenue drivers. BIA/Kelsey’s annual conferences draw executives from across industries seeking expert guidance on how companies are finding innovative ways to grow. Additional information is available at, on the company’s Local Media Watch blog, Twitter ( and Facebook ( Stay connected by subscribing to the firm’s bi-monthly newsletter.

For more information contact:

Eileen Pacheco
For BIA/Kelsey
(508) 888-7478