Study Finds Internet Plays Bigger Role In Automobile Purchases

Westlake Village-based J.D. Power and Associates is reporting that the Internet is playing a bigger role in helping consumers purchase vehicles, with auto dealers increasingly satisfied with the sales leads from online efforts. The research firm said Monday that its 2005 Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services Study found that online buying services have made a dramatic impact on how consumers shop for vehicles. Dealers were most satisfied with online buying services provided by manufacturers. The study found that on average, dealers receive 37 leads per month from online lead generation services, up from 36 in 2004 and 33 in 2003. Lead services from automobile manufacturers average 41 leads per dealer per month, up from an average of 38 in 2004. However, the study found that online buying services for used vehicles have lagged, providing fewer leads per dealer per month versus last year. The company's study was based on a survey of 5,053 dealers.