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New Car Insights


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Buying a car isn't just about price -- a dealer's brand and reputation matter. shares insights into consumer behavior when it comes to shopping for new vehicles.

Published in: Automotive, Business
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New Car Insights

  1. 1. InsightsA New Age for Selling New Vehicles:the Role of Dealer Differentiation and Brand New-Vehicle Sales Projected to Grow • U.S. new-vehicle sales could exceed 14 million units in 2012,1 reaching their highest level since 2007. • This represents an increase of 35% since the industry’s low point in 2009, when the industry bottomed out at 10.4 million units. 20 Total U.S. New Vehicle Unit Sales (in millions) 15 10 5 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013The automotive landscape has changed since 2007,when new-vehicle sales were last near their high point,but consumer shopping behavior has changed as well.A business’ reputation has moved into the forefront of theshopping process. Local consumers like to read as many as 10 reviews before making a decision about which local business to use, and nearly half are more likely to use a local business after reading positive online reviews.2Mobile devices have changed the way consumers shop,making information available from anywhere – even right onyour lot. Nearly 40% of’s total new-vehicle searches come from mobile devices.3
  2. 2. Insights Understanding Today’s New-Car Shopper A dealership having an online presence is as important as the dealership’s proximity to an online new-car shopper when deciding where to buy.4 Differentiate Your Brand Be visible. Be accurate. Be consistent. Be trusted. Be sure to claim your listing on Google Places, Monitor your online presence on both free Communicate and deliver on your brand value Build your brand by asking happy customers to Facebook Places, Foursquare, YellowPages. and paid sites, and be sure that all of your throughout all customer touch points, from in- write reviews about their experience, and have a com, Angie’s List and other business listings and information is correct. Nothing is worse than an store signage and lead process to your website, strategy for responding to negative reviews that review sites. incorrect phone number, a broken URL or an online advertising and email communications. shows your commitment to customer satisfaction. email address that goes nowhere! new-car shoppers who read reviews are 7x more likely to contact a dealer.3 Turn Your Customers into Advocates Monitor. Respond. Ask. Promote. Assign someone at your store the responsibility of Reply to feedback, both good and bad. Good reviews start with a great experience, so Share positive reviews with your prospects with listening to feedback across the internet. Acknowledge negative feedback publicly, but incorporate reviews throughout your process. links on your website and in-store signage. Also, to avoid a public debate, strive to take the Include links to your review sites in email don’t forget to reward staff for great reviews! conversation offline by including your contact communications, hand out “How Did We Do?” information and inviting the customer to contact cards in your service department and follow up with you directly. happy customers by telling them how much you would appreciate their referral on a review site. Of mobile car shoppers, 57% of recent purchasers said they used their devices on the dealership lot.5 Connect with Shoppers On the Go Optimize your presence. Tailor the experience. Don’t forget service. Make sure your dealership website can be seen on all devices. On your mobile-optimized site, make it easy for mobile users to Consider asking your service customers if they would prefer to You can do a quick check at access the information they want, including photos, features, price/ receive updates on their vehicle via text. incentives information and inventory.The 411 on 68% of Consumers considering purchasing a new vehicle are most or exclusively shopping brand new Mostly considering pre-owned vehicles but may decide on new vehicle insteadCross-ShoppingNew-car shoppers are 35% 33% 25% 4% 3%open to used, but most are Only consider brand new vehicles, Focus on brand new vehicles but Consider both new and Not sure if next vehiclefocused on new. so will not look at used vehicles may consider used vehicles used fairly equally will be new or used Source: Online New Car Shopper Study, 2010
  3. 3. About was recently named the “Best Overall Customer Experience” by Keynote Systems, the leader in internet andmobile cloud marketing. is an online destination for car shoppers that offers information from consumersand experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. With pricelistings, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and a large selection of new-and used-car inventory, puts millions of car buyers in control of their shopping process with the informationthey need to make confident buying decisions.Launched in June 1998, is a division of Classified Ventures LLC, which is owned by leading mediacompanies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI),Tribune Company and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).Sources: 1 J.D. Power and Associates – 2012 U.S. Auto Sales Forecast 2 BrightLocal annual Local Consumer Review Survey – Harnessing the Power of Online Customer Reviews for Local Business Growth, 2011 3 Internal Reporting, 2012 4 Online New Car Shopper Study, 2010 5 Mobile Web and App Usage for Automotive Shoppers, 2011 (Source: Nielsen) © 2012 Classified Ventures, LLC™. All rights reserved.