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Half of Internet Car Shoppers Initially Open to All Brands

Half of American consumers who use the Internet when shopping for a new vehicle are willing to consider any brand when they begin their search, according to the J.D.

Half of American consumers who use the Internet when shopping for a new vehicle are willing to consider any brand when they begin their search, according to the J.D. Power New AutoShopper Study.

The proportion rises to 54% for Gen Y buyers (18 to 32 years old), Power says. Nearly half of purchasers in that age group use smartphones to help them choose their model.

The research firm notes that these trends make it important for automakers, dealers and third-party car information Web sites to reach consumers—especially young buyers—via mobile shopping tools, advertising and apps, as well as conventional online communications.

Almost eight in 10 new-vehicle purchasers of all ages use the Internet to research their options, Power reports. Among those consumers, 98% visit manufacturer Web sites, 83% check dealer sites. 80% look at third-party sites and 7% consult social media.

Across all age groups, the use of tablets in car shopping surged 39% from 2012, thus surpassing smartphones this year for the first time, according to Power.