Cars Online Annual Study: Understanding Consumer Car Buying Trends

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Cars Online 07/08, Capgemini’s ninth annual automotive study, explores trends within the retail side of the automotive industry, focusing on consumer buying behaviour, environmental issues, web usage, lead management and customer loyalty. In total, nearly 2,600 consumers were surveyed in five countries: China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Here are the key facts from the study:

  • 20% of consumers said they were likely or very likely to buy a vehicle over the Internet, up 18% from 2001
  • 8 out of 10 consumers use the Internet when researching car purchases
  • 29% of web users indicated they use C2C websites, such as forums, blogs or discussion groups when researching to buy a car up from 21% from last year
  • 78% of users rely on search engines when researching car purchases
  • 50% of consumers said they were planning or seriously thinking about buying a fuel efficient vehicle
  • 34% of European and US consumers said they expect to receive a response to a web enquiry within four hours, up 4% from last year
  • 50% of consumers will look for a new dealer and 25% will look for a new dealer and manufacturer if response isn’t fast enough – (Faster response times = greater conversion)
  • About two-thirds of consumers said the receipt of a personalised post-sale communications from manufacturers or dealers would make them more likely to purchase another vehicle from the same company
  • Effective web strategies will be vitally important, as the online landscape evolves rapidly with the emergence of powerful C2C tools like blogs, discussion forums, social networking sites and virtual worlds