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Top 10 North American Influencers for Automotive Suppliers

automotive supplier influencers

As a leading PR firm specializing in automotive suppliers and mobility technology providers, we are often asked who the influencers for the automotive supplier sector are.

For decades, veteran automotive trade and Detroit auto reporters have been considered the top influencers for automotive suppliers in North America. This comes by virtue of their years covering the automotive beat and gaining considerable knowledge, along with their third-party journalistic objectivity. 

And they still are very influential.

Many of these journalists still wear their traditional media hats, filing stories for their traditional media outlets. And many, in the new digital ecosystem, now also create blog and Linkedin posts, Tweets, podcasts and other digital content.

 However, with the rise of digital and social media, a new set of influencers has also emerged – the Social Media Influencer.

Top Influencers for Auto Suppliers

These auto supplier influencers are users of social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms, who have established credibility and authority in the North American automotive industry.

Typically, they are not media. Sometimes they are perceived to be thoughtleaders. They offer insight, analysis and data – usually in conjunction with their positions with consulting or analysis firms, think tanks, independent research institutions or technical organizations and associations.

The best social media influencers for automotive and mobility technology OEM suppliers are typically micro-influencers, with less than 25,000 followers. They are not about clickbait or simply having millions of followers. They are about quality, not quantity.

Our Top 10 list of influencers for the North American automotive OEM supply chain share three things:

1) an interested following of the right people — those that actually work in (or depend upon) the auto industry,

2) a genuine interest in their niche and a passion to share their knowledge and insights to make the industry better, and

3) greater authority in the automotive space and higher engagement rates with their audience than the average social influencer.

So, if you’re looking for social media micro-influencers who can help you to gain insight and a broader perspective on the ever-changing automotive mobility supplier sector, check out these individuals:

  1. Sam Abuelsamid, Senior Research Analyst of Navigant Research
  • Specialty: Mobility, telematics, connectivity, autonomous vehicles
  • LinkedIn Followers: 2,687
  • Twitter Followers: 2,536
  • Twitter Handle: @samabuelsamid
  • Location: Detroit
  • A former automotive engineer, Sam has significant experience working in, and writing about, the automotive industry. He is a columnist for Automotive Engineering magazine and Forbes, and a co-host of the Wheel Bearings podcast.
  1. Carla Bailo, President & CEO at Center for Automotive Research
  • Specialty: Mobility and SmartCities research
  • LinkedIn Followers: 3,732
  • Twitter Followers: 283
  • Twitter Handle: @CarlaMobility
  • Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Carla has extensive leadership experience in the mobility research space. Previously, she was the president and CEO of ECOS Consulting, assistant vice president of mobility research at Ohio State University, and senior vice president of R&D Americas and Total Customer Satisfaction for Nissan North America.
  1. Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors
  • Specialty: Automotive; Mobility; Leadership
  • LinkedIn Followers: 1,093,648
  • Twitter Followers: 38,400
  • Twitter Handle: @mtbarra
  • Location: Detroit
  • Mary Barra has been at GM for over 30 years, serving in senior-level management positions. She transformed GM’s corporate culture and is leading the company into a new era of autonomous technology.
  1. Elaina Farnsworth, CEO of Next Education
  • Specialty: Mobility talent, autonomous vehicles, cybersecurity
  • LinkedIn Followers: 4,876
  • Twitter Followers: 147
  • Twitter Handle: @Elainafarnswort
  • Location: Detroit
  • Before her position at Next Education, Elaina served on the connected vehicle task force for Oakland County Connected Vehicle, communication director for Connected Vehicle Trade Association, and on the board of directors of Mobile Technology Association of Michigan
  1. Maryann Keller, Principal at Maryann Keller & Associates
  • Specialty: Advising; Auto industry analysis
  • LinkedIn Followers: 64,331
  • Twitter Followers: N/A
  • Location: New York
  • An auto industry analyst and author, Maryann is currently the president of a global automotive consulting firm in New York City. She covered the automotive industry as a Wall Street investment analyst for more than 20 years.
  1. Roger Lanctot, Director of Automotive Connected Mobility at Strategy Analytics
  • Specialty: Automotive market research and development, telematics
  • LinkedIn Followers: 188,477
  • Twitter Followers: 49,300
  • Twitter Handle: @rogermud
  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Previously, Roger worked at Strategy Analytics as the senior analyst of global automotive practice, director of business development at iSuppli Corporation, and worked in report development and sales at the Consumer Electronics Association.
  1. Mike Ramsey, Research Director at Gartner
  • Specialty: Automotive and mobility trends
  • LinkedIn Followers: 1,670
  • Twitter Followers: 3,519
  • Twitter Handle: @MRamsey92
  • Location: Detroit
  • Mike has extensive experience covering the automotive industry. He was previously an auto reporter at the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg before joining Gartner.
  1. Michael Robinet, Managing Director at IHS Markit Automotive Advisory
  • Specialty: Automotive/supplier/OEM/technology trends; forecasts
  • LinkedIn Followers: 1,737
  • Twitter Followers: N/A
  • Location: Northville, Mich.
  • Michael has 30 years of automotive analysis experience, including more than 22 years with IHS Markit and its auto forecasting predecessor, CSM Worldwide.
  1. Jeff Schuster, Senior Vice President of Forecasting at LMC Automotive
  • Specialty: Automotive trends; forecasts
  • LinkedIn Followers: 1,606
  • Twitter Followers: 607
  • Twitter Handle: @jwschust
  • Location: Troy, Mich.
  • Jeff previously served as executive director of automotive intelligence for J.D. Power & Associates. He is a frequent speaker and news source on automotive trends.
  1. Glenn Stevens, Executive Director at MICHauto, Vice President of Automotive & Mobility Initiatives – Detroit Regional Chamber
  • Specialty: Automotive leadership
  • LinkedIn Followers: 3,471
  • Twitter Followers: 1,760
  • Twitter Handle: @glennrstevens
  • Location: Detroit
  • Glenn has extensive experience in the automotive industry, especially in leadership. Prior to his roles at MICHauto and the Detroit Regional Chamber, Glenn served as senior vice president at Original Equipment Suppliers Association and the vice president of business development at Blue Water Automotive Systems. He prides himself in building collaboration and synergy in the world of trade associations, economic development, and government.

autonomous vehicleAnd, if you’re looking for insights on PR and social media relating to automotive supplier and mobility technology PR, feel free to check out our leader:

Jim Bianchi, President, Bianchi Public Relations, Inc.

  • Specialty: Automotive supplier and mobility technology PR and media relations
  • LinkedIn Followers: 1,123
  • Twitter Followers: 948
  • Twitter Handle: @jamesbianchi
  • Location: Detroit (Troy)
  • A 30+year veteran in automotive PR, Jim’s agency team members have worked with 11 of the top 45 North American OEM automotive suppliers and have conducted the noted Social Media and Automotive Supplier Habits (SMaASH™) study.

What influencers do you follow for automotive and mobility supplier insights?

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