Recalls Drive Mary Barra and GM to Top of Auto Industry 'Most Influential' Lists in New Appinions Study

mary Barra
Mary Barra, CEO, GM

NEW YORK--April 22, 2014: Normally a new CEO would be pleased to rocket to the top spot in terms of influence for her industry, but Mary Barra's rapid rise to become the most influential executive in the automotive industry may not be welcomed news. Ms. Barra earned the top spot in a new industry influence study (Industry Influence Study), narrowly beating out Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, as the marketplace reacts to the news of recent recall announcements.

Five different GM executives earned spots on the top 20 list, while only four Ford executives were listed, led by CEO Alan Mulally who ranked 8th. The prominence of Tesla Motors in the industry was highlighted by their rank as the 6th most influential auto brand ahead of more established names including Daimler, Nissan, Honda, and BMW.

The Appinions study is based on analysis of over two billion documents including TV transcripts, offline publications, online publications, blogs, forums, and social media. The Appinions platform identified approximately 225 million opinions that appeared between January 10th and April 8, 2014. It then identified who held each opinion and calculated influence scores based on attributes of the meaningful reactions each opinion causes or inspires.

"This year we've seen discussions of safety, auto technology, and luxury grow in impact," said Larry Levy, CEO of Appinions Inc. "while historically 'hot' topics like performance and design have dropped significantly in terms of their impact. Other interesting trends include Apple and Google driving over 50% of the discussion around connected cars, while discussion of hybrids and electric vehicles has replaced most talk of improved gas mileage. We're able to literally measure how times are changing."

The study lists the six most influential themes in the automotive industry as Safety, Auto Technology, Fuel Economy, Performance, Luxury, and Design. In each area the executives and companies driving the conversation are ranked and scored based on Appinions analysis. GM and Toyota disproportionately consume the safety discussion, while over 30 different brands play almost equally in conversations about performance.

The Appinions Automotive Industry Influence Study is available at Auto Influence 2014

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