Data Mining 1.2 Million Car Listings: Interesting Insights Uncovered
If we compare automobile industry with the information technology industry, it’s a no-brainer that the pace of innovation and technological advancements are significantly slow in the former. Had the Automobile sector undergone rapid development like software and tech-driven products, eco-friendly smart electric cars would have outnumbered the traditional cars by now. However, we’re already witnessing the adoption of advanced technologies like AI and machine learning, even in production cars. Consulting firm KPMG had predicted that the processing power may become a more important spec of future cars than horsepower.
Elon Musk’s Tesla series is a promising venture in this regard with immense potential and an answer to the world’s automobile pollution issues. While the Tesla model 3 production starts this week, we decided to dig out some insights from our datasets that hold 1.2 million car listings. If you are an automobile enthusiast or are part of this industry, you’re sure to find these insights interesting. The data was aggregated from popular European automobile listings sites using our proprietary web crawling solution.
While the dataset had 30+ data fields, we he selected the following key fields for visualization:
- CO2 emission rate
- Manufacturer name
- Transmission type
- Fuel type
- Body type
Popular body colors
The most popular body colors for the cars turned out to be black, white and grey in the order of their popularity. Green and orange seems to have gone out of trend, being at the bottom of the list. It must be tough to let go of the evergreen charm of classic colors like black, white and grey.
Popular body types
When it comes the body types, our findings are not exactly ground-breaking; sedans win hands down to be the most popular body type. It’s a bit surprising to see off-road vehicles make it to the second place whereas compact cars and vans are more on the less popular side of the scale.
Impact on the environment
Passenger cars are responsible for about 12% of total emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide), which is one of the most abundantly found greenhouse gases. We checked the CO2 emission rates for all the cars and found it to be between 119 and 139 g/km. Most number of cars run with a CO2 emission rate of 119 g/km.
The EU legislation has set mandatory emission reduction target for new cars being manufactured, which is expected to bring down the average to 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer by 2021.
Majority of the car listings had an end price ranging from 13,000 to 25,000 euros. Considering these are pre-owned cars, the prices are a bit on the high side.
Word cloud from the listing descriptions
Manual vs Automatic transmission
In the past, it was almost given that the manual version of any car will have a better fuel economy compared to its automatic counterpart. However, with the recent advancements in automatic transmission technology and the added number of gears, automatic transmission is now on par with and sometimes even superior to manual transmission when it comes to fuel economy. While most automobile enthusiasts still prefer manual transmission, we don’t want to get into the great debate. We found that the percent of stick-shift cars are way ahead of automatic; 64 vs 36%.
When it comes to power, most of the cars fall into the 90, 110 and 150 horsepower categories. 150 is clearly the most popular power for passenger cars while the super cars boasting around 600+ HP did not even make it to the list.
Despite being infamous for heavy pollution, diesel is still the most commonly used fuel in cars. Electric cars are a rare breed in comparison to other variants, but hopefully, this will change in the near future and we’ll see more electric powered cars on our roads.
Volkswagen is undoubtedly the world’s largest car manufacturer and this reflects in our data visualization as well. About 200,000 of the cars listed were made by Volkswagen. While Audi and Mercedes are in the second and third positions, they are way behind in numbers, falling below 100,000. But, that’s understandable considering these two manufacturers cater to the luxury segment.
To summarize, black is the most popular color sported by cars while sedans are the commonly seen body type. Despite automatic transmission having improved a lot over the years, manual still seems to rule the roads. Although most cars now run on diesel with a CO2 emission rate of 119 g/km, the future of our environment looks promising with electric cars gaining popularity.