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                              For More Information Contact:

Amy Anderson  The Cobalt Group     Judy George Friedman-Swift Associates
Office: (206) 219-8105                    Office:  (513) 772-9204, ext. 122
Cell:     (206) 619-6220                    Mobile: (513) 684-1246                      


New Research Shows Consumers Seek Vehicle Details from

Auto Dealership Web Sites

Price information still important, but vehicle data essential for online shoppers

 CINCINNATI- MARCH 11, 2002- If you think the number one thing shoppers are looking for from an automobile dealership Web site is the price of a car, think again. Vehicle options—such as whether a new car has heated seats or a leather-wrapped steering wheel—rate as the most important feature that consumers want to see on a dealer’s Web site, according to new research released by Friedman-Swift Associates, The Cobalt Group and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).  Price information, including dealer invoice price comparisons, ranks second.

 “For the first time, shoppers seem to be more focused on specific vehicle details than on price comparisons,” said Judy George, Chief Operating Officer of Friedman-Swift Associates, a Cincinnati-based automotive market research firm. “Nearly nine in ten new vehicle shoppers—88 percent—say it is very important to find vehicle options on a dealership Web site.”

 This makes sense, as more consumers use automobile dealership Web sites to help them decide which car to buy and where to buy it.  More than two-thirds of shoppers—71 percent—say it is also very important for a dealership to have searchable inventory on the first page of its site.

 “Dealers who listen to consumers and develop a process for posting detailed and accurate searchable inventory listings, including photos, on their Web sites will reap higher return on investment for their dealership,” said Kevin Root, vice president of Cobalt’s Dealer Advisory Services training and consulting division.  “Additionally, to ensure maximum exposure and rapid turn for dealer inventory, we recommend that dealers post details about all new and used vehicles on their Web sites as soon as the cars arrive on the lot.”

 The research also showed a strong preference among shoppers to locate a vehicle from a consumer portal like NADA’s DriversSeat and Cobalt’s DealerNet.  Two-thirds—67 percent—of new car shoppers and 73 percent of used car shoppers said they would be very likely to use portals like DriversSeat and DealerNet to help them find the vehicle they want.

The research was based on interviews with 655 online car shoppers who visited the or car shopping sites. The study has a margin of error of +/-3.8 percent.  Nearly half—49 percent—of the shoppers in this study plan to buy a car in the next two months.  More details about the research can be found at


Friedman-Swift Associates, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a leading provider of automotive marketing research to automobile dealers in the United States. Working with auto dealers, manufacturers and advertising agencies since 1979, Friedman-Swift Associates has pioneered proprietary market research that helps dealers increase market share among both Internet and traditional automotive shoppers.

Friedman-Swift has conducted over 4,000 automotive research studies. The firm's clients include 75 of the top 100 largest automobile dealer groups in the US, and most dealerships who lead in sales performance for each auto manufacturer.

More information about the company can be found at or by calling (888) 772-9200.


 The Cobalt Group works exclusively in the automotive retail market to help manufacturers and dealers develop integrated e-business programs by leveraging its industry leading technology, broad range of services and deep domain knowledge. As the automotive e-business leader, Cobalt is uniquely positioned to help its customers maximize their overall operating efficiencies and profits.

 Cobalt offers a broad range of products and services developed specifically for the automotive marketplace including enterprise software for manufacturers and dealers; customer relationship management (CRM) software applications; online automotive commerce applications; the industry’s largest OEM parts locating and marketing service; dealership e-business best practices training, consulting, and process compliance analysis; and wholesale used vehicle remarketing services.

 Cobalt operates a dealer network larger than any other technology provider in the automotive retail industry including 12,000 franchised dealers and 70 of the 100 largest dealer groups.  Cobalt is the only software technology provider ever endorsed by 14 manufacturers and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

 With headquarters in Seattle, Wash., Cobalt has offices in five U.S. cities, and a field sales and services force in 30 states, including all major U.S. metropolitan sales areas (MSAs).

 For more information, please visit or call (800) 909-8244.


The National Automobile Dealers Association, based in McLean, Va., represents more than 19,400 franchised new car and truck dealers holding nearly 40,000 separate franchises, domestic and import. 


Friedman-Swift  |  110 Boggs Lane Suite 200  |  Cincinnati, Ohio 45246  |  513-772-9200