Putting Consumers in The Driving Seat

How Automotive industry in UAE should adapt in a post-COVID era

By Somar Mowakket
Founder at Consult Upgrade
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Systems Check!

In an industry which had many uncertainties in a pre-COVID era, the pandemic just added fuel to speculations’ fire regarding the industry future. The concerns have kept increasing in a collapsed industry: the financial impacts (esp on operations), potential global recession, reduction in productivity, and decrease in consumer confidence (Sorensen and Telang 2020). From the top concerns of industry leaders in the Americas, consumers’ confidence is in top 4 concerns.


Many questions arise with such concern: are automotive companies positioning their cars in a alignment with consumers’ (and potential ones) segmentation? Do they mirror their audience? Or there is a big gap between what auto giants say and their audience’s aspirations, character, emotions, and behaviour?

Consumer Confidence is a top concern for automotive industry!


In order to provide insights on these critical questions, Consult Upgrade studied the of the world’s giant automotive manufacturers: a Japanese, an American, and a German. We examined the companies’ content, with particular focus on UAE’s market, and we also looked at the consumers and audience content in relation to these global brands. Our team collected data from the three companies’ local websites (for UAE market) and their respective social media content. The website’s corpus size is 569,721 words, and the social media’s corpus is 91,593 words. We also collected content from audience and consumers on social media which added up to 87,897 words.

We applied our own methodology in analysing the data. Consult Upgrade methodology is a set of unique innovative data processes in which we apply quantitative and qualitative analyses technique to the aggregated data, informed and guided by a custom-made pragmatic, linguistic and psycholinguistic coding framework. We look at what the language collected can tell us about the sentiments of content writers, their personal traits, the drives behind their behaviour, and we look at key themes & word frequencies through our bespoke AI powered coding system designed for this particular research.

THE FINDINGS: Behaviour, The Engine

The behaviour drive analysis sheds light on underlying behaviour that is unveiled by language. While the three car manufacturers showed highly inconsistent behaviour drive in their contents, the social media content from the American car manufacturer came quite deflated reflecting extremely flat lines of behaviour. Their website content proved some clearer drives, with Power (73)  and Risk Aversion (72) senses higher than others. The drive of Power was mirrored by their audience with a high score of 68. It is a different story for the German and Japanese car manufacturers as their audience’s content reflected very little behaviour drive with a total 87 and 138 respectively compared to the American’s 241!

A critical fix is needed here to reflect targeted behaviour drive in content, whether in social media or on website, in order to lead and impact image positioning of the brand to meet the strategic needs and targets of corporates.

Behaviour Drives in all three manufacturers and their audience’s

THE FINDINGS: An American, a German, and a Japanese walk into …

The story of poor content continues with the American car manufacturer. The personality traits that they showed in their content came more deflated that their Japanese and German counterparts with a sum of 2906 points from their combined website and social media content; compared to 3275 points from German car manufacturer’s content and 3150 points for the Japanese one. So what does it mean? It means that the content shows no character and, hence, has limited impact on shaping audience’ behaviour. Unfortunately, the bad news do not stop here for the American giant, their audience reacted with a 20% negative personality traits with Melancholy and Aggressiveness as top audience personality traits! These negative traits will go hand in hand with the failure to reflect strong character and positive personality traits in website content and on Social Media. Yet, all three car manufacturers reflected lows scores in Openness traits such as: artistic, emotionally Aware, and Imaginative personality traits. The audience reflected, as a result, with an extremely low degrees of Ambition, which is directly, reflect the mood of consumers and audience: it does not look quite promising if your audience does not show ambition!

THE FINDINGS: Test Drive Performance – something doesn’t feel right!

The Power surge in the American car manufacturer’s audience behaviour shown above came with a price tag: the consumer and audience personality traits were negative by large (52%) while the German and Japanese audience expressed 31% and 29% negative emotions respectively. This is a direct result of the American car manufacturer’s website content which reflected a whopping 37% of curiosity sentiment instead of showing other emotions through language to their audience and clients.

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THE FINDINGS: Roaring Engines?
What you say is what you are

The underperformance of the American car manufacturer’s content is enabled by poor word choices. Negative structures dominate the content of website with “not” is number 3 word modifier (or adverb) and “never” is in number 10. Moreover, There is quite fewer positive words compared to its German competitor.

The Japanese giant, on the other hand, has used little positive terminology in website content, especially adverbs, where most of the top 20 word modifiers used are either technical or closed class modifiers leaving very little space to impact readers’ decision or behaviour.

The most common words are:

Adjectives: personal, required, available, related, relevant

Adverbs: also, more, not, here, forward, as, even, well

Verbs: be, start, manage, use, make, explore, remember

What’s next?
Shifting Gears for an uphill drive

With the global V shaped post-COVID recovery seeming out of reach for most countries for now, corporates should adopt psycho-linguistic and content enhancement techniques in order to adapt to the current situation. In a struggling and collapsed industry, marketing and branding cars should witness a drastic change. Audience and consumers’ behaviour keep on changing and it is a failure to ignore this fact! Corporates should read and understand their content and their audience in order to move forward avoiding business losses.

  • Character, personality, emotions and drive, of both ends, can be easily read and manipulated through language.
  • Changing consumers’ behaviour start with understanding yourself as a corporate and a brand from your own words and content.
  • You need to understand the present if you want to own the future!


How Consult Upgrade can help…

Consult Upgrade provide an in-depth linguistic and psychological analysis by harnessing and decoding the language used whether in social media, website, newsletters, campaigns, or any other medium. We know that one of the keys to a healthy business, is an understanding how language works while manipulating it to yield and return profit, and to achieve your business targets.

For full report and data contact us at Consult Upgrade or if you would like to have insights on your market, brand, marketing campaigns or your clients. At Consult Upgrade, we help you by:
– Collecting critical data about your content, clients, market, competition, and brand
– Delivering analyses, recommendations, and training on how to improve your campaigns, content, and brand outlook
– Auditing, designing, and developing new content to help you achieve your goals and targets


Curran, E., & Kennedy, S. (2021, April 18). Bloomberg. Bloomberg – Are you a robot?. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-17/economic-recovery-after-covid-scars-will-remain-after-the-rebound

Sorensen, J., & Telang, R. COVID-19 and the automotive industry. PwC. https://www.pwc.com/us/en/library/covid-19/coronavirus-impacts-automotive.html

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