In the German industry media, the popularity of ADAC tests is on the ebb, Auto Bild’s is on the rise

Auto Bild and ADAC magazines
Auto Bild and ADAC magazines

Just as product manufacturers and service providers compete with one another, the tire testing magazines and organizations are vying for the privilege to form the test agenda and ultimately influence the driver’s decision when it comes to buying a new set of tires.

The buyers give as good as they get, and show genuine interest for the tests. At the same time, paradoxical though it may sound, the tire tests that are the first to be published are not always the most popular or even the most read.

In Germany, tire tests have taken on a truly impressive scale. The operational properties of different tires are thoroughly researched before the new season by virtually every industry magazine, although the most popular ones are still ADAC and Auto Bild.

This urged the industry magazine Neue Reifenzeitung to compile an internet traffic report of its pages devoted to tire tests. The magazine took into account 60-days statistics from the moment of publication of the appropriate test.

The report shows that ADAC and its partner clubs is not as interesting to the visitors to the website as it was in the previous years. ADAC gave up its leading position to the Auto Bild group (which includes the flagship magazine and the industry publications Auto Bild Allrad and Auto Bild Sportscars).

The share of views of the appropriate pages at connected to all the texts containing the tire tests results of the appropriate season (statistics 2018)
The share of views of the appropriate pages at connected to all the texts containing the tire tests results of the appropriate season (statistics 2018)

When it comes to choosing winter tires, 57% of views from the moment of publication fall on Auto Bild, ADAC only getting 10%. This is a very large gap, considering the fact that in the Auto Bild test, 20 models reach the finals, while ADAC carries out full-fledged tests of at least 30 models — says the technical expert of Shina. Guide. In terms of the website traffic of its winter test pages, ADAC even stays behind GTU (5%).

In terms of views of the web pages with the tests of summer tires, the gap between ADAC and Auto Bild is not so striking. Nevertheless, Auto Bild is still the leader. At the same time, in 2018, the advantage of ADAC over its competitors in the case of summer tires was still more prominent than in the case of winter tires.

To compare, the absolute leader 2014 was ADAC:

the absolute leader 2014 was ADAC

The new summer season 2019 is rapidly closing in, and the results of the latest tire tests conducted by the biggest automobile magazines, organizations, and clubs are sure to be published pretty soon. And again the question arises — which source of information do we trust more? At the moment, there is but one thing that we can say with certainty: the stance of ADAC as the industry’s favorite faltered under the onslaught of Auto Bild.

The tire expert commented on the statistics published by NRZ in the following way:

We have reasons to question the conclusions published by our colleagues. Here is the thing — the website attendance to a large extent depends on the traffic coming from the search engines (for Germany these are Google, and to some extent Bing). And this means that if in 2018 these search engines changed their «attitude» (which rather often is the case) towards the Reifenpresse website on such keywords as «ADAC», «Auto Bild» and others, this affected the number of views of the results of the corresponding tests on the website.

In other words, the visitors, which are interested in the ADAC tests, may have been redistributed in favor of other websites, which affected the inner statistics of Reifenpresse.

A more correct and accurate approach to studying the visitors’ preferences would have been to do a narrower survey, which would exclude the visitors whose entry point to the website was from the web pages with the tests.