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Internet Use by New Car Dealers Climbs to 94 Percent, According to New Survey

McLEAN, Va., Dec. 16, 2004 -- The Internet presence of U.S. franchised new car and light truck dealers has reached an all-time high this year, according to a new survey from the National Automobile Dealers Association's (NADA) Industry Analysis Division.

NADA's annual survey of Internet utilization found that 94 percent of new car and light truck dealerships have websites -- up from 93 percent last year and 74 percent in 1999. Of these sites, 98 percent are interactive, with most allowing car shoppers to view stock and MSRPs, fill out finance forms, and schedule sales and service appointments. Many others provide customers the convenience of ordering on-line and linking directly to related financial, insurance and auto sites.

"This survey confirms that the vast majority of new car dealers have adopted the Internet as an important tool to make the car-buying process more convenient for their customers," said NADA Chief Economist Paul Taylor. Dealers report their most common website interactions with customers are: responding to requests for price quotes and setting up service and sales appointments.

Of the 6 percent of all dealerships that currently do not have websites, the NADA survey found that 37 percent plan to have an Internet presence within the next six months.

The National Automobile Dealers Association, founded in 1917 and based in McLean, VA, represents approximately 20,000 franchised new car and truck dealers holding nearly 43,000 separate franchises, domestic and international.

                      (Survey Summary Page Follows)

      Key Findings of NADA 2004 Internet Utilization Survey Findings

  * Dealerships with websites have grown from 47 percent in 1997 to 94
    percent in 2004.

  * Ninety-eight percent of dealer websites are interactive.

  * Sixty-eight percent of dealers with a website have completed a sale on
    the Internet (excluding delivery and payment).

  * Services offered by dealership websites include:

    View stock                         92 percent of dealers with websites
    View MSRP                          79 percent
    Link to manufacturer website       71 percent
    Schedule service appointments      67 percent
    Schedule sales appointments        63 percent
    Fill out finance forms             62 percent