Car Buyers Driven to Manufacturer Sites

In-market car buyers may start their auto search on content sites, but they quickly turn to car manufacturer sites for in-depth information, according to a report from J.D. Power and Associates.

As many as 67 percent of car buyers take to the Web to research new vehicles. That’s up from 64 percent in 2004. Of these, 89 percent begin their research on search engines or on portals such as AOL, Google, MSN, and Yahoo From the 67 percent pool, 77 percent visit at least one independent Web site before proceeding with the shopping process.

Traffic to manufacturer Web sites has increased, with at least 80 percent of site visitors viewing multiple auto manufacturer sites to research models. While visitors to car maker sites increases, the report says content site traffic remains flat. J.D. Power’s Senior Director of Online Marketing Solutions, Dennis Galbraith, says there’s a content opportunity for independent sites.

“Independent sites are likely to add robust tools to help shoppers identify the right vehicle across all brands for their particular preferences or lifestyle,” said Galbraith.

Though the study reports 67 percent of in-market buyers use the Web to research car models, it says a full 79 percent of Internet users are influenced in their vehicle selection by information found online.

J.D. Power and Associates bases their research on responses from millions of consumers.

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