Polk View: How the Internet is Changing the Vehicle Shopping Process
It is widely accepted that the Internet is a key information source for consumers during the vehicle shopping process and an indispensable marketing tool for dealers and OEMs. In 2013, new research suggests that it is evolving for both consumers and dealers.
2013 Polk Automotive Buyer Influence Study
Originally commissioned in 2011, the Polk Automotive Buyer Influence Study provides groundbreaking information about the influence of media among New and Used Car Buyers. In this 2013 update, the study revealed that the Internet is making car shopping more efficient, and the total amount of time consumers spend shopping for a car has decreased dramatically in the last two years while the percentage of their online shopping time has increased substantially.
Internet Is Making Car Shopping More Efficient as Role of Traditional Media Declines, According to a Polk Study Commissioned by AutoTrader.com
Polk Automotive Industry Dashboard (July 2012 Edition)
The Polk Automotive Industry Dashboard is a compilation of time-sensitive facts and statistics for the automotive industry. Highlights from July 2012 include:
- Moderate Economic Growth – GDP up 1.5% in Q2 '12
- Cautious Consumers – Savings rate up, overall retail sales down
- Vehicle Sales Outperform Economy – Vehicle sales up 15.7% through May '12
- Mixed Financial Results for Auto Sector – Ford's profit is down, Chrysler's is up
- Gas Prices Continue to Impact Sales – Gas prices drive hybrid vehicle, car sales
Trend Engine: Shopper Insights February 2012
ATLANTA – February 12, 2012 – In the February edition of the Shopper Insights Report, AutoTrader.com experts recommend Leading Luxury Vehicles and Hidden Gems, based on insights from the 2012 New Luxury Vehicle Loyalty Study. Among other things, the study revealed the top reasons luxury buyers stayed loyal to their brand when they purchased another new luxury vehicle. Utilizing the top five reasons that these buyers stayed loyal—Brand Affinity, Quality/Reliability, Driving Performance, Price/Finance/Value and Styling/Design—the experts at AutoTrader.com selected 10 luxury vehicles for the list, with the Cadillac CTS sedan and Volvo S60 being chosen as the best overall picks.
“With the economy beginning to show signs of resurgence, we believe that even more shoppers will turn their attention to luxury vehicles, making now an ideal time to share the insights we have regarding this important segment,” said Rick Wainschel, vice president of automotive insights at AutoTrader.com. “By bridging information gained from our extensive research with the vast automotive knowledge within AutoTrader.com, we aim to facilitate deeper connections between buyers and sellers.”
The 2012 New Luxury Vehicle Loyalty Study was conducted by Polk and AutoTrader.com with a total of 1,485 U.S. luxury buyers to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons why these buyers stay with, leave or move to a luxury brand. Loyalty is defined as a buyer who buys a luxury vehicle from the same make as the one owned previously.
Beyond the top five reasons luxury buyers remained loyal, the study also revealed that the primary drivers of loyalty differed by brand. For example, the main reason Cadillac buyers stayed loyal is not the same as the reason BMW buyers stayed loyal.
- Brand affinity was selected by a significantly higher percentage of Cadillac loyalists than any other luxury brand.
- Quality/reliability was cited more often by Mercedes-Benz and Acura loyalists as a reason for returning to that brand.
- BMW loyalists were more apt to identify driving performance as a reason for their return purchase than other luxury owners.
- Price ranked much higher as a reason for Acura owner loyalty compared to the other luxury brands in the study.
- Audi loyalists rank styling and design significantly higher than other brand loyalists as a reason to stay.
AutoTrader.com experts leveraged these insights to select two vehicles that were good on all five criteria for their overall picks. Then, they chose two vehicles—one vehicle from the brand that was rated highest by its loyalists in each category and one hidden gem shoppers should consider—for each of the following four categories: Brand Affinity, Driving Performance, Price/Value and Styling/Design. Since quality and reliability are considered to be the cost of entry for vehicles in the luxury market, experts did not choose vehicles based on those factors independently.
The full report, brought to you by the AutoTrader.com Trend Engine, provides in-depth analysis of these vehicles—from the reasons experts selected the vehicles to the level of interest consumers have shown these vehicles while shopping on AutoTrader.com.
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