The role of the internet in new car purchases

October 2011

The days of cruising the lot after a car dealer has closed are over. More and more, consumers are browsing the internet, both at home and on mobile devices, to make this big ticket purchase. In a study spanning 13 countries, we found that 65% used the internet as a primary or gateway resource, with 54% watching manufacturer videos to learn more before arriving at the dealership.

This study presents the attitudes and behaviours of new car buyers in 13 countries.

Key findings:

  • On a global level, the most important sources for researching a new automobile are auto dealerships, search engines and manufacturer websites.
  • 65 percent of new car buyers use search engines either as a primary or gateway to other sources.
  • Online video plays an increasingly important role in the purchase of new automobiles. 54 % watch online auto videos produced by manufacturers.
  • Mobile devices are becoming an important way for car buyers to conduct research.
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