WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. – J.D. Power and Associates’ 2005 Used Autoshopper.com StudyT released in mid-June shows the Internet now helps to lead more late-model, used-vehicle buyers to vehicles they purchase than do traditional newspaper and magazine classified ads combines. The study is based on responses from more than 14,000 owners of used vehicles who purchased pre-owned 2000-05 model-year vehicles. While the percentage of used-vehicle buyers using the Internet in their shopping process remained relatively flat at 53%, the Internet continues to increase in its ability to impact the shopping decisions of those consumers who use it. Among al buyers, nearly a quarter – 24.3% – indicated they are impacted in their seller selection decision by information found online, up from 22.5% in 2004. Manufacturer Web sites are also becoming increasingly important. While 90% of automotive Internet users still visit independent sites such as Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com or Yahoo!Auto, 74% visit a manufacturer-sponsored Web site such as FordVehicles.com or Chevrolet.com to look for used vehicles. That’s up from 70% in 2004. Dealer sites also play an important role in consumers’ online shopping habits for vehicles. More than half – 52% – of all shoppers who credit the Internet with leading them to the vehicle they purchased indicated a dealer site as the primary online source. Almost half of these shoppers stated that an independent site, manufacturer site or search engine directed them to the dealer’s site where they found the vehicle they eventually purchased.

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