J.D. Power and Associates Reports: AutoTrader.com and Cars.com Each Rank Highest in Satisfying Dealers With Online Vehicle Buying Services in Their Respective Segments

2008-08-19 12:00:00

    WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Aug. 19 /EMWNews/ -- Among online buying

services, AutoTrader.com ranks highest in satisfying dealers with

new-vehicle leads, while Cars.com ranks highest in satisfying dealers with

used-vehicle leads, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Dealer

Satisfaction with Online Buying Services Study(SM) released today.

    The study, which measures dealer satisfaction with online buying

services, ranks vehicle-lead providers in two segments: independent

new-vehicle and independent used-vehicle. Within those segments, four

factors measure overall dealer satisfaction with online lead providers:

business generation; dealer support/service; competitiveness of fees; and

transmission of leads. An additional factor, advertising, is also included

in the independent used-vehicle lead segment.

    AutoTrader.com ranks highest in dealer satisfaction with online

new-vehicle lead providers for a second consecutive year, performing

particularly well in the business generation, dealer support/service and

transmission of leads factors. Following AutoTrader.com in the segment

rankings and performing above industry average are Cars.com, Dealix and

AutoUSA, respectively.

    In the used-vehicle lead segment, Cars.com achieves high ratings from

dealers in the areas of business generation and transmission of leads.

AutoTrader.com follows Cars.com in the used-vehicle-lead segment rankings

and performs well in the areas of dealer support/service and advertising.

    "The strong performance of AutoTrader.com for two consecutive years is

founded on its most notable strengths -- the quality of leads and the

amount of contact with the dealership -- both of which are especially

important to dealers," said Jon Osborn, research director at J.D. Power and

Associates. "Cars.com has been steadily improving in the used-vehicle-lead

segment rankings during the past two years, so it is not surprising that

the service improves from its second-rank position in 2007 to earn the

highest rank in 2008."

    The study finds that overall satisfaction in the used-vehicle lead

segment has declined considerably in 2008, averaging 581 on a 1,000-point

scale, compared with 613 in 2007. The decline is driven primarily by

decreases in satisfaction within the business generation factor,

specifically in the areas of the quality and quantity of leads.

    The study also finds that the average number of online lead providers

that dealers subscribe to has increased steadily in recent years -- from

5.6 in 2006 to 6.8 in 2008. In addition, approximately one-half (53%) of

dealers report subscribing to a lead notification program, which

instantaneously alerts dealers to an incoming lead via cell phone voice or

text messages. Dealers who subscribe to lead notification programs tend to

have high levels of satisfaction with the services. Approximately

two-thirds of subscribing dealers "completely agree" that lead notification

programs work well and believe that they are worth participating in.

    "As both new- and used-vehicle sales decline, it is now more important

than ever for dealers to cast as wide a net as possible toward the limited

supply of vehicle shoppers, which is one reason why dealers are increasing

their use of online lead providers in the hopes of generating more traffic

and sales for their dealerships," said Osborn. "Also, dealers use vehicle

lead notification systems to try to differentiate themselves from their

competitors through faster lead response times. In this highly competitive

industry, creating even a slight edge over other dealers is critical during

a period of slow sales."

    The 2008 Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services Study is based

on 4,141 dealer evaluations of the online buying services they use. The

study was fielded in April and May 2008.

    About J.D. Power and Associates

    Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is

a global marketing information services company operating in key business

sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement,

training and customer satisfaction. The company'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 (NYSE: MHP) 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 2007 were $6.8 billion. Additional

information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

J.D. Power and Associates Media Relations Contacts: John Tews Syvetril Perryman Troy, Mich. Westlake Village, Calif. (248) 312-4119 (805) 418-8103 john.tews@jdpa.com syvetril.perryman@jdpa.com No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. http://www.jdpower.com/corporate
Dealer Satisfaction Index Scores (Based on a 1,000-point scale) New-Lead Services Segment AutoTrader.com 637 Cars.com 619 Dealix 615 AutoUSA 604 New-Lead Services Segment Average 588 Autobytel Inc. 578 AutoMart.com 547 eBay Motors 540 Vehix.com 505 Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: CarsDirect, CarSoup.com, Jumpstart and IMotors/Reply. NOTE: The study also measures dealer satisfaction with manufacturer and member lead services, however, rankings are unavailable due to small or insufficient sample sizes.
Used-Lead Services Segment Cars.com 662 AutoTrader.com 651 Used-Lead Services Segment Average 581 eBay Motors 566 Autobytel Inc. 552 Vehix.com 527 AutoMart.com 526 Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: CarsDirect, CarSoup.com, UsedCars.com and SAM'S CLUB Auto Buying Program. NOTE: The study also measures dealer satisfaction with manufacturer and member lead services, however, rankings are unavailable due to small or insufficient sample sizes.

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