51% of car shoppers use mobile device in vehicle research

 

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: — More than half (51%) of new-vehicle Internet shoppers use a mobile device—tablet or smartphone—to digitally conduct automotive research on the Internet to help them find the right vehicle, at the right dealer for the right price, according to the J.D. Power 2015 New Autoshopper StudySM released today.

The study analyzes how new-vehicle buyers use digital devices— tablets, smartphones and computers—to gather information prior to purchase, as well as which websites and apps they use during the shopping process. The study also examines what content new-vehicle buyers access during their shopping process and which content they find most useful.

For more information about the 2015 New Autoshopper Study visit http://www.jdpower.com/resource/jd-power-new-autoshopper-study

The proliferation of digital information accessible through mobile devices continues to change the way new vehicles are shopped for by consumers. Since 2012, the use of tablets for automotive shopping has increased by 83 percent and smartphone automotive shopping has increased by 70 percent. More than half (51%) of new-vehicle shoppers use a mobile device to gather automotive information prior to purchase. In particular, 34 percent of new-vehicle shoppers use a smartphone for automotive research and 33 percent use a tablet.

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“Outside of the home, the location where new-vehicle shoppers most frequently use their  smartphone to conduct auto research prior to purchase is at a dealership,” said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power. “Nearly half (48%) of new-vehicle buyers that shop on a mobile device use their smartphone and 13 percent use a tablet for information gathering while at the dealership primarily to access vehicle pricing as well as model information, inventory searches and special offers and incentives.”

The manner in which new-vehicle shoppers locate the actual vehicle they seek is also going digital. Nearly one-third (30%) of new-vehicle shoppers find the vehicle they purchase on either a manufacturer website, a third-party website or their dealer’s website.
In addition, new-vehicle shoppers are initially contacting their dealer digitally. While a majority of shoppers make their initial contact by simply walking into a dealership, nearly one-fourth (24%) do so digitally by email, the dealer website, request an online quote, text, online forum or Facebook.

More of these new-vehicle shoppers are entering the process with a specific make or model in mind. Nearly half (49%) of new-vehicle shoppers know either the exact make or model they initially want and purchase it. This has increased dramatically from 2013 when just 43 percent bought the exact make or model they had in mind. This shift translates into a decrease in the number of vehicles these digital shoppers consider when they first began visiting dealerships to an industry average of 2.4 vehicles in 2015 from 2.6 vehicles in 2013.

Top Websites Used for Automotive Shopping

  • More than 9 in 10 of new-vehicle Internet shoppers visit at least one manufacturer brand website when shopping for a vehicle. Site visitors find manufacturer brand websites to be most useful for their model information and vehicle configurators.
  • While 83 percent of new-vehicle Internet shoppers visit at least one dealership website, 75 percent visit their selling dealership’s website.
  • Eight in 10 new-vehicle Internet shoppers visit a third-party site for automotive information.

o   The three most frequently visited third-party sites have remained consistent since 2012 (listed in alphabetical order): Consumer Reports, Edmunds.com, and Kelley Blue Book.

o   Among the 35 third-party sites measured in the study, TrueCar has experienced the largest increase in site visitation.

o   Compared with other automotive sites, third-party sites are found to be especially useful for vehicle comparisons and vehicle ratings/reviews.

The 2015 New Autoshopper Study is based on responses from more than 18,900 purchasers and lessees of new 2013 to 2015 model-year vehicles who used information gathered digitally during the shopping process. The study was fielded between February 6, 2015, and July 7, 2015.

 

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2015 end of year bargains identified as 2016s roll in

End of Summer Brings Huge Discounts to Car Shoppers as Dealers Clear 2015 Vehicles for Redesigned 2016 Models 

BY GERRY MILES

It’s not just the end of the month that spurs car sales at dealers across the land, it’s also the end of the model year that creates opportunities for buyers cashing in on a leftover model year on the lot.

Edmunds.com claims buyers should strongly look at 2015 models because dealers are urgent to make room for the new-arriving models. Buyers, as a result, can save thousands of dollars and still drive home a brand new car.

 

“Although manufacturers are poised to replace these vehicles with new-generation models, they still offer excellent value and performance,” says Edmunds.com Senior Consumer Advice Editor Philip Reed. “Shoppers looking for the best possible deal on a new car right now would be smart to consider the savings these vehicles offer before they weigh any other options.”

Edmunds counts at least 31 vehicles that are scheduled for a redesign or refresh for 2016, and are expected to deliver particularly deep discounts for outgoing models. Based on pricing trend predictions, Edmunds highlights the following five vehicles that are likely to stand above the rest:

2015 BMW 3 Series – A refreshed design of this iconic entry luxury car is coming later this year, driving down prices — and in some parts of the country, it is already selling for over $1,500 below TMV®. BMW offers customer cash rebates along with attractive lease specials. Some rebate offers may also be combined with low-interest financing from dealers.

2015 Chevrolet Volt – The long-anticipated Volt redesign will debut later this year, making the 2015 model a steal. With relatively low and stable gas prices, sales of the plug-in hybrid Volt are already lagging, so prices are low and incentives are plentiful. Edmunds Price Promise® offers are already almost $4,000 below TMV® on the 2015 Volt.

Chevy just announced this week it is delaying the launch of the 2016 Volt and perhaps because Toyota unveiled its fourth-gen Prius that is longer, wider, and has an extended driving range that it never had before.

2015 Honda Civic – A popular car for students and those on a budget, the Civic enjoys an A rating from Edmunds editors. Shoppers can find Edmunds Price Promise® offers on the outgoing Civic model ranging between $1,000 and $2,000 below TMV®.

2015 Toyota Prius – With gas prices stable, and excitement building toward the release of a new model later this year, prices on the Prius – like the Chevy Volt – have fallen as much as $3,000 below TMV®. Adding a little sweet kick to the deal: Toyota is offering 0% financing for as long as 60 months to qualified buyers.

2015 Volkswagen Passat – This handsome, refined European sedan is getting a mid-cycle refresh in the fall, pushing prices of the 2015 model over $1,000 below TMV® in some areas of the country. Customer cash incentives and 0% financing make the car a solid choice for families keeping an eye on their budget.

Some of the discounted offers on 2015 vehicles are regional, so shoppers are urged to check Edmunds Price Promise® offers and incentive information to see what is available in their area. Edmunds further advises consumers to start shopping 2015 model year vehicles as soon as possible to maximize the selection of colors and options.

An expanded list of Edmunds.com’s 2015 model year selldown recommendations can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/best-new-car-leftovers-for-2015.html.

 

Smartphone users as serious about shopping as desktop pc users: Edmunds.com

Analysis Identifies Key Differences Between Smartphone and Desktop Car Shoppers, as well as iOS vs. Android Shoppers

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Car shoppers using smartphones to access Edmunds.com’s are just as likely – if not more likely – to engage in serious shopping behaviors than those at desktop computers, laptops and tablets, according to a new analysis by the company. The conclusion is one of many takeaways from the research, which offers important insights to automotive retailers as they consider how to invest their resources to meet the crush of shoppers who are turning more to their smartphones to help them make car-buying decisions.

Even though smartphone users spend less time on Edmunds than wired users, they view as many or more pages during that time, and they’re more likely to focus their research on specific vehicles. According to the analysis, 79 percent of smartphone users on Edmunds research at least one specific vehicle model during their time on the site, surpassing even the impressive rate of about 65 percent of wired users.

Smartphone users view local inventory listings at rates more than 30 percent higher than their wired counterparts, suggesting that they are generally lower in the funnel of the car buying process.

“One of the most explicit car shopping behaviors that consumers can exhibit is viewing local inventory, and smartphone users are especially inclined to engage in this behavior,” says Edmunds.com Chief Economist Dr. Lacey Plache. “Not all mobile users are just playing: many are really serious about using their phones to assist in buying a car.”

Edmunds’ analysis also examined the shopping preferences of both iOS and Android smartphone users. According to an analysis of page views by these two groups, the most popular automotive brand on both operating systems is Toyota. But a deeper look shows stark differences between iOS and Android loyalists: Three luxury brands (BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus), for example, appear on the list of the ten most researched brands for iOS users, compared to just one luxury brand (BMW) for Android users. iOS users also skew more toward Honda (#2 on the brand list) than do Android users (#4 on the brand list).

Most Popular Brands on Edmunds.com – iOS vs Android Users

Rank     iOS                     Android

  1.  Toyota                    Toyota
  2.  Honda                    Chevrolet
  3.  Ford                       Ford
  4.  Chevrolet                Honda
  5.  BMW                      Nissan
  6.  Nissan                    Dodge
  7.  Mercedes-Benz      Mazda
  8.  Jeep                       BMW
  9.  Lexus                     Hyundai
  10.  Mazda                    Jeep

Source: Edmunds.com

Edmunds’ mobile shopper analysis reveals the following additional key findings:

Used car shoppers are especially engaged on mobile. Smartphone site visitors show a stronger preference for used vehicles than wired site visitors (with 53 percent of smartphone visitors looking up used cars vs. 38 percent of wired visitors). And among shoppers who only consider used car content on Edmunds, the share of smartphone shoppers browsing used car inventory on Edmunds is 40 percent higher than the share of wired shoppers.
Mobile shoppers are younger. According to Edmunds’ research, 55 percent of smartphone visitors are Millennials (age 18 to 34), compared to 26 percent of wired site users. And a recent Millennial Study conducted by Edmunds found that 80 percent of Millennials used their mobile devices to help them with at least one car shopping task, compared to just 46 percent of people age 35 and over.
Smartphone shoppers engage more with advertising. Smartphone users are at least 2.5 times more likely to click on ads than wired site visitors, andmobile engagement has tripled compared to last year. An analysis of post-Edmunds activity found that these mobile clickers continue to perform seriousshopping activities on the OEM or dealer sites where their ad clicks redirect them, suggesting that these engagements are not due to accidental clicks or by mistaking ads for Edmunds content.
The overall mobile audience is growing rapidly. Edmunds’ mobile site users and traffic have more than doubled since 2012.

Car shoppers are white hot in the color palette, leaving red and blue behind

BY GERRY MILES

So what’s a red state like New Hampshire to do when car shoppers prefer blue? Enjoy the ride from the showroom along with car buyers from neighboring Vermont and the District of Columbia – remember them – who buy the most blue cars in a recent survey by Edmunds.com who helped me tie in a national theme with politics for July 4th.

The most popular color

While vanilla is often derided for its blandness, the color white is white hot overall as the most popular car color. Red and Blue rank fifth and sixth respectively. White cars are the most popular in hot places like Arizona, Utah and Mississippi.

Seeing Red

Red cars are the most popular in North Dakota, Oklahoma and West Virginia, Edmunds.com says.

Brand Colors
Land Rover sells white cars at a higher rate (34.1 percent of all its vehicles sold in 2015) than any other automotive brand. Scion is the most “red” brand (17.1 percent of all its vehicles sold in 2015), while Mazda is the most “blue” automaker (19.0 percent of all its cars sold).

Model Color Popularity
If you bought a Honda Ridgeline this year, the numbers says it was most likely white. More than half (53.2 percent) of all Ridgelines sold in 2015 are white. Blue appears to be the color of choice for VW Golf R buyers (49 percent of all units sold), and nearly one out of every three (31.9 percent) Mazda MX-5 Miatas sold this year are red.

Edmunds.com: Industry could have best June sales in 10 years

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Edmunds.com, the premier destination for car shopping, forecasts that 1,484,487 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in June for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 17.3 million. The projected sales will be a 9.0 percent decrease from May 2015, but a 4.7 percent increase from June 2014. If the sales volume holds, it will mark the best-selling month of June since 2006, and the biggest June SAAR since 2005.

“The auto industry has maintained most of the strength it flexed during its record-breaking May,” said Edmunds.com Director of Industry Analysis Jessica Caldwell. “In many parts of the country we saw May’s deal offers extend well into June, and Fourth of July promotions should start as early as next week. These sales messages are helping to sustain the industry’s momentum into the first few weeks of summer.”

Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 14.1 million vehicles in June, with fleet transactions accounting for 18.3 percent of total sales. An estimated 2.98 million used cars will be sold in June, for a SAAR of 37.2 million (compared to 3.07 million – or a SAAR of 37.4 million – used car sales in May).

What economic factors are driving today’s heavy volume of shoppers to dealer showrooms? Edmunds.com Chief Economist Dr. Lacey Plache explains what car shoppers want at http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/analysis/what-car-shoppers-want-now.html.

Edmunds.com Announces 2015 Best Retained Value Awards

  • Toyota and Acura Win Brand Awards
  • 15 Car Companies Win Model Awards

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Toyota and Acura took home the top prizes in the fifth annual Edmunds.com Best Retained Value® Awards, which recognize the brands and 2015 models that have the highest projected residual values after five years based on their average “cash” True Market Value® (TMV®) price during their first five months in the market, or for vehicles introduced in November or December of 2014, through March 2015. Toyota won in the non-luxury division with a projected 52.4 percent residual value after five years, and Acura won the luxury crown with a projected five-year residual value of 46.9 percent.

In addition to these brand-level awards, Edmunds.com issued model-level awards in 24 separate segments. Toyota had four winners, the most of any brand. A full list of all 24 model winners can be found in Appendix 1 below and on Edmunds.com Best Retained Value® Awards page at http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/best-retained-value-cars.html.

“Smart car shoppers who are likely to sell their car within five years should always stop and consider projected residual values before making a new car purchase,” said Edmunds.com Consumer Advice Editor Carroll Lachnit. “Whether you are leasing or buying, the retained value of a car can make a big difference in your wallet.”

Each brand with both more than 100,000 unit sales in 2014, and models offered within at least four vehicle-type categories, was eligible for this year’s brand-level Best Retained Value® Awards. Each model year 2015 vehicle that both was launched by the end of 2014, and had unit sales in February 2015 that were at least 25 percent of the average unit sales for the models in its segment was eligible for this year’s model-level Best Retained Value® Awards. Edmunds determined each model’s category for the 2015 awards based on its body type segment; for certain categories, the size of the model within its body type segment; and for certain categories, the model’s price and/or its competitive segment.

More details on Edmunds.com’s Best Retained Value® Awards can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/best-retained-value-cars.html.

APPENDIX I

2015 Edmunds.com Best Retained Value® Awards 

Model-Level Winners

Segment Make Model Average Retained Value after Five Years
Compact Car Subaru WRX 53.2%
Compact Crossover Suv Honda CR-V 55.2%
Midsize Truck Toyota Tacoma 64.5%
Entry Luxury Car Acura ILX 48.2%
Entry Luxury SUV Acura RDX 47.8%
Entry Sports Car Dodge Challenger 56.5%
Large Car Toyota Avalon 44.8%
Large Crossover SUV GMC Acadia 44.3%
Heavy Duty Truck Ford F-350 Super Duty 58.5%
Large Traditional SUV GMC Yukon 47.7%
Large Truck Toyota Tundra 57.2%
Midrange Luxury Car Lexus GS 350 46.3%
Midrange Luxury SUV Lexus GX 460 49.9%
Midrange Sports Car Chevrolet Corvette 52.2%
Midsize Car Subaru Legacy 48.5%
Midsize Crossover SUV Toyota Highlander 54.4%
Midsize Traditional SUV Jeep Wrangler 62.4%
Minivan Honda Odyssey 49.9%
Premium Luxury Car Porsche Panamera 44.7%
Premium Luxury SUV Mercedes-Benz G-Class 52.6%
Premium Sports Car Nissan GT-R 50.6%
Subcompact Car Honda Fit 54.5%
Small Commercial Van Ford Transit Connect 47.0%
Large Commercial Van Ram Promaster Cargo Van 44.1%

Memorial Day Sales: Zero Glitz and Big Deals says Edmunds.com

BY GERRY MILES

We’re used to lots of balloons, clowns and the big, tall 12-foot single color thing that waves all over the place to attract the attention of would-be car shoppers are dealerships.

Over this coming Memorial Day Weekend, there should be ZERO GLITZ AND GLITTER, according to Edmunds.com analysts and plenty of bargains all around from many of the automakers.

0% Financing Galore:

0% financing is huge this month. Edmunds.com analysts estimate that about 1/3 of all new vehicles have some sort of 0% promotion happening – and that’s even true for some of the small SUVs that are the hottest vehicle segment on the market right now.

Here are some examples:

  • Most Ford vehicles (including Escape Focus, Fusion, and outgoing non-aluminum F-150)
  • Many Nissan vehicles including Rogue and Versa
  • Most Toyota vehicles (including Camry, Corolla, RAV4)
  • Many Green vehicles including Volt, Leaf, Prius

$199 Leases:

There are a ton of these available, including on Buick, Chevy, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Subaru and VW models. More info here:

http://www.edmunds.com/car-leasing/monthly-199-lease-deals.html

Crazy EV Lease:

Chevrolet Spark EV has a $139 Lease with $0 Due at Signing. This is an EV car payment that may be less than your cell phone bill!

http://www.chevrolet.com/spark-ev-electric-vehicle.html

Interested in getting one of these great deals but now sure how to do all your research in time? The consumer advice experts at Edmunds.com offer a simple three-day shopping plan that makes it easy for you to do all your homework and bring home a new car before the deals run out:

http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/three-day-shopping-plan-for-holiday-weekends.html