November 10, 2004


Online vehicle buying services providing more leads to dealers

Westlake Village, California – Online buying services are influencing more vehicle sales than ever, and dealers are receiving more leads according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services Study released yesterday.

Dealers receiving leads from manufacturers are receiving more new- and used-vehicle leads per dealer than was the case in 2003. Manufacturer services, such as GM BuyPower and FordDirect, now provide 38 new-vehicle leads per month per dealer per service, compared to just 31 in 2003 – an increase of 23 percent. As they did in 2003, dealers are experiencing average closing ratios of 18 percent from these new-vehicle leads.

Online services that focus primarily on the sale of used vehicles, such as AutoTrader.com, cars.com and eBaymotors, are providing 29 used-vehicle leads per month per dealer per service – up from just 20 leads per month in 2003. Dealers are experiencing the same average close ratios they did in 2003 from these used-vehicle leads.

“We have continued to see increases in the number of leads provided to dealers from online buying services,” said Dennis Galbraith, senior director of research at J.D. Power and Associates. “Our New- and Used AutoShopper.com studies clearly show that more buyers are getting to the dealer they purchase from through online leads.”

Dealer satisfaction with lead quality from both manufacturer and independent services has also increased. The greatest improvement in satisfaction with lead quality is with leads from manufacturer services and services focused primarily on the sale of used vehicles.

The 2004 Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services is based on 3,791 dealer evaluations of the online buying services they use. The index is comprised of 14 to 15 attributes depending on service type.

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