Thursday, October 27, 2005

Car Buying, Selling Becoming an Online Process

26 Oct 2005
A growing number of new-car buyers are doing a lot more than online research - everything but test-driving and dropping off the payment - and manufacturers and dealers are now making it much easier for buyers to spend tens of thousands of dollars online, writes the New York Times.

Though few buyers complete their transactions entirely online, that number has increased - from an average of 4.9 in June 2002 to 7.5 this June.

According to a NADA survey, 94 percent of dealers in the United States have websites, one-quarter of them having come online in the last three years. Dealers now get nearly 230 monthly online prospects on average - nearly twice the 116 per month in 2004.

Also, other car-related sites are helping customers to better narrow their choices, making the dealers' job easier: Car manufacturers have improved their sites; online car malls like, and point prospective buyers toward car dealer sites; and information sites like ConsumerReports .org, and KelleyBlueBook .com provide massive amounts of information.

Dealers have also adapted by creating internet sales divisions and compensating employees with straight salaries and other incentives, not just commissions; and they have hired people versed in email salesmanship and so reduced lost sales because of employees' attempts to protect commissions.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Online Usage of Car Buyers – 10 Year Survey

Online Usage of Car Buyers – 10 Year Survey

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Product-relatedinformation has become the primary focus for new-vehicle shoppers who use theInternet to research models, significantly surpassing price information forthe first time, according the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Study released today. (Logo: )

The study finds that while some shoppers know which vehicle they arelooking for before going online, 79 percent of automotive Internet users areimpacted in their vehicle selection by information found online. Thiscompares to 78 percent who are impacted in how much they paid or offered forthe vehicle they purchased.

"Automotive Internet usage has gone through a tremendous transformation inits 10-year history," said Dennis Galbraith, senior director of onlinemarketing solutions at J.D. Power and Associates. "Initially, the Internetwas primarily thought of as a tool for getting the best price on a vehicle.Today, consumers are even more impacted by the Internet in which vehicle theybuy than how much they pay for it."

Along with this trend, manufacturer Web site visitation continues toincrease among all new-vehicle buyers, while visits to independent sites(sites not controlled by a vehicle dealer or manufacturer) remain flat. Onaverage, buyers say they rely most on manufacturer-sponsored sites for productinformation and on independent sites for price-related information.

While the majority of buyers visit the brand's Web site before theypurchase a model, they typically visit a multitude of sites before finalizingtheir vehicle selection. For every manufacturer, at least 80 percent of theirsite visitors who buy a new vehicle will visit at least one other manufacturersite.

"There is tremendous market share at stake in the battle to turn sitevisitors into buyers," said Galbraith. "Manufacturers will continue to movehundreds of millions of marketing dollars toward their online efforts and willbecome more efficient marketers in the process."

At the same time, consumers are using the Internet to adjust to the factthat there are more models to choose from and more options and accessories tocustomize vehicles.

"A greater emphasis on finding the right vehicle is good for consumers,"said Galbraith. "Vehicle depreciation is so high that the cost of buying thewrong vehicle can be far greater than the cost of paying a few hundred or evena few thousand dollars more than a better negotiator might have paid. Inpractice, most vehicle buyers are minimizing the risk of buyer's remorse byusing the Internet to find both the right vehicle and the right price."

A record high 67 percent of new-vehicle buyers use the Internet in theirvehicle shopping process-up from 64 percent in 2004. Nearly all (89%) ofthese consumers visit a search engine or portal (such as AOL, Google, MSN andYahoo!) as part of their shopping process. Seventy-seven percent of theseconsumers visit at least one independent Web site and typically visit thistype of site first in their vehicle shopping process.

"Independent sites are likely to add robust tools to help shoppersidentify the right vehicle across all brands for their particular preferencesor lifestyle," said Galbraith. "There remains a great deal of contentopportunity for independent sites."

About J.D. Power and Associates Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is anISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating inkey business sectors including market research, forecasting, consulting,training and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality and satisfactionmeasurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D.Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global informationservices provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, educationand business information markets through leading brands such as Standard &Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education and BusinessWeek. The Corporation has more than300 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2004 were $5.3 billion. Additionalinformation is available at

J.D. Power and Associates Media Relations Contacts: John Tews Michael Greywitt Director, Media Relations Director, Media Relations Troy, Mich. Westlake Village, Calif.
(248) 312-4119
(805) 418-8526

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information inthis release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power andAssociates.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Search Engines Drive Traffic to Car Sites

Search Engines Driving Traffic to Car Sites
8 Sep 2005
Search engines are more and more driving traffic to car-related websites, with nearly 21 percent of visitors to such sites - those of manufacturers as well as third parties - in June having been taken there via search engines, according to a new study by Yahoo Search Marketing and analytics company Compete, reports MediaPost. In July 2004 that proportion was 17.5 percent.

"As search in general is increasing on the web, automotive search is growing significantly," Don Aydon, automotive category director for Yahoo Search Marketing, is quoted as saying.
The vast majority - 20.5 million - of the 25 million or so monthly visitors to car sites went to third party sites such as Kelly Blue Book, and 8.9 million visited manufacturers' sites (some visited both types). Nearly half (46 percent) of those using car names wound up on third-party sites, suggesting that those sites are purchasing brand keywords.

The largest share of car-related searches - 36 percent - used third-party brand names, such Edmunds. Carmaker names (e.g., Ford) accounted for 26 percent. General terms (e.g., SUV) accounted for 21 percent. And 17 percent were for specific cars, such as Toyota Camry.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Peugeot UK TV ad offers SMS as only response channel

The Peugot TV campaign for the new 1007 car offers SMS as the only contact channel, according to Mike Grenville for
"Under the umbrella creative by Euro RSCG, Peugeot's TV campaign for the launch of the 1007 has the only call to action at the end of the advert is to text the word 'easy' to 81007.
By texting the branded shortcode, 81007, respondents can access a mobile portal for the car, where more information and entertainment can be accessed. Customers can book a test drive, order a brochure, see animated mobisodes of key 1007 features, download screensavers and ringtones, and preview the 1007 ad two weeks before it was launched on TV.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Into the Storm - Online Magazine for BMW

Very slow to load

Monday, July 25, 2005

New UK Online Mercedes Campaigns - B Class and Mercedes Benz world

As reported by Adverblog

Get ready for Mercedes Benz World
Mercedes Benz has recently launched two campaigns to target the British market. The first effort is dedicated to the new B-Class model which will arrive on the market at the beginning of September. Tv and print ads aim at building curiosity and driving traffic to the B-Class website.
The second effort is inspired to Mercedes-Benz World, a new retail and leisure complex to be opened in Summer 2006 at Brooklands. The Mercedes village will include a top class hotel, exhibition and conference spaces, kids' spaces, a restaurant as well as circuits for test drives. According to the description provided on Revolution Magazine, Mercedes-Benz World appears to be a large-scale experiential marketing effort to engage the entire family

Monday, July 18, 2005

KBB - Kelley Blue Book - is the Visited site Among US Used Car Buyers

Used Study Finds Kelley Blue Book 'Most Useful'
IRVINE, Calif., July 12 /PRNewswire/ -- For the seventh consecutive year, Kelley Blue Book's maintains its status as the most visited automotive Web site among used-vehicle buyers in J.D. Power and Associates' 2005 Used study. The just-released study finds 55 percent of all Automotive Internet Users (AIUs) buying a used vehicle visit prior to purchasing, and was cited as "the most useful site visited in their automotive shopping process" more frequently than any other automotive site. attracts nearly as many unique visitors (among actual vehicle buyers) as any other three automotive Web sites combined, according to J.D. Power and Associates' annual report. In addition to's consistent top position among used-vehicle buyers, J.D. Power and Associates' 2004 'New' study also shows as the most visited automotive Web site among new-vehicle buyers for seven years running.

"Whether researching a new or used vehicle, consumers and the industry know will provide the most comprehensive automotive information available on the Internet today," said Stephen Henson, executive vice president of sales, marketing and products for Kelley Blue Book. "Our continued top status in both J.D. Power AutoShopper studies shows that Kelley Blue Book consistently delivers on our 79-year promise of being 'the trusted resource.'"
The J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Used study was conducted among more than 14,000 used-vehicle buyers (2000-2005 model years). J.D. Power and Associates has been conducting the Used study since 1999, and has been the leading site in the study since its inception. Kelley Blue Book's launched in 1995; this is the first J.D. Power and Associates study that reflects the new design, which was introduced in April 2004.

About Kelley Blue Book (
Kelley Blue Book's is America's most used and trusted vehicle pricing, values and information resource. The top-rated Web site provides the most up-to-date pricing and values for thousands of new and used vehicles, including the Blue Book® New Car Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. Since 1926, car buyers and sellers have relied upon Kelley Blue Book for authoritative and unbiased information to make well-informed automotive decisions. The company also reports vehicle prices and values via products and services, including the famous Blue Book® Official Guide and software products. Car buyers have rated No. 1 in overall customer satisfaction and experience, according to a survey by Keynote Systems. also has been named the No. 1 automotive information site by Nielsen//NetRatings and the most visited auto site by J.D. Power and Associates seven years in a row. No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than; one in every four American car buyers complete their research on