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2014 Automotive Buyer Influence Study

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Article Highlights

  1. While approximately 2 out of 3 car buyers do not contact the dealership prior to their first visit, Millennials more often make contact prior to walking in than Gen X and Baby Boomer car buyers do. As a result, it’s crucial for dealers to have effective sourcing and CRM processes in place to help them understand initial contacts and walk-in traffic. Knowing what influenced a shopper to contact the dealership, regardless of method, can help dealers determine the true value of their advertising spend, as well as how and where they can most successfully invest their marketing dollars.
  2. Regardless of generation, car buyers cited the Internet as the most influential source leading them to the dealership – more than 20 times that of any other media source cited in the study. These results point to the continued importance of effective online automotive advertising in order to influence car shoppers to buy YOUR car from YOUR dealership.
  3. While car buyers use a variety of sites to shop, more of them use third-party sites than any other site. This is true across all three generations in the 2014 study, with Millennials and Gen X buyers using third-party sites slightly more than Baby Boomers. Third-party sites also have a strong impact on driving Millennial and Gen X buyers to the dealership they ultimately purchase from, with 41% of both age groups saying a third-party site led them to a dealer.

Since 2011, the IHS Automotive Buyer Influence Study has provided groundbreaking information about the influence of media among New and Used Car Buyers. This 2014 study shows that the Internet continues to be the most-used and most-influential source among consumers, with Millennials leading the way in this growth. Car buyers are spending 75% of their time shopping online, and mobile device use is growing.

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