J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Manufactures Web Site Rankings
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Jan. 22 -- HUMMER.com earns the highest ranking among automotive manufacturer Web sites for usefulness in new-vehicle shopping for a second consecutive time, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study(SM) (MWES)-Wave 1 released today.
The semi-annual study measures the usefulness of manufacturer Web sites during the new-vehicle shopping process. New-vehicle shoppers evaluate Web sites in four key areas: appearance, speed, navigation, and information/content.
HUMMER ranks highest with an index score of 867 on a 1,000-point scale-a 2-point decline from the last wave of the study, which was released in July 2007.
"HUMMER continues to set the standard with a Web site that satisfies shoppers through fast performance and streamlined navigation," said Steve Witten, executive director of marketing/media research at J.D. Power and Associates. "A focus on a user-friendly site that delivers robust information to shoppers both quickly and easily has put HUMMER's site in the top spot three times in the past four waves of MWES."
Following HUMMER in the top three rankings are Lincoln and Kia, respectively. While HUMMER and Kia have consistently performed well in the rankings for the past several years, Lincoln ranks among the top three for the first time in 2008. The Lincoln Web site provides a particularly strong example of robust content that manufacturers are increasingly beginning to offer on their vehicle model pages.
Manufacturer Web Site Ranking (Based on a 1,000-point scale) HUMMER 867 Lincoln 865 Kia 863 Honda 862 Mazda 862 Jeep 859 Acura 858 Lexus 856 Saab 854 Toyota 851 Ford 850 Mercury 849 Subaru 849 Suzuki 849 Cadillac 848 Dodge 848 Infiniti 846 Mitsubishi 846 Buick 845 Land Rover 845 Porsche 845 BMW 843 Industry Average 842 MINI 840 Hyundai 835 Saturn 835 Volvo 833 Chrysler 830 Jaguar 830 Mercedes-Benz 830 Chevrolet 828 Nissan 828 GMC 824 Pontiac 823 Volkswagen 820 Scion 803 Audi 784
"Traditional point-and-click Web site navigation is changing as a growing number of shoppers use search engines to link directly to automotive manufacturer model pages rather than the home pages," said Witten. "As a result, manufacturer vehicle model pages are beginning to contain more functionality than ever before. Lincoln's Web site, in particular, combines rich content on its model pages with fast, clear navigation."
The study finds that the average index score for Web sites of premium vehicle manufacturers has surpassed the average score for sites of non-premium manufacturers for the first time since Wave 1 of the 2006 study. Among those non-premium sites that show the largest decreases since the previous wave of the study, one of the reasons for these declines tends to be a failure to successfully integrate new model-page content features such as video and interactive demonstrations.
"Some bottom-performing sites had robust content to offer but failed to deliver it to shoppers in a user-friendly manner, or the sites overwhelmed shoppers by showing too much content on one page," said Witten. "In order to successfully deliver information to shoppers, manufacturer Web sites must combine a wealth of tools and information with quickness and a clean, intuitive navigation scheme. Creating a balance of these elements is what sets top performers apart from lower-scoring sites."
The 2008 Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study-Wave 1 is based on evaluations gathered between October and November 2007 from 11,466 new-vehicle shoppers who indicated they would be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 24 months.
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2006 were $6.3 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.