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Nearly One in Five New Car Buyers Visits Auto Dealership Web Sites

Most find dealership Web sites through Internet search engines

 CINCINNATI- April 2, 2002- Nearly one in five new car buyers visits the Web site of the automobile dealership they buy from, according to research released by Friedman-Swift Associates, an automotive marketing research firm in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 The report, based on interviews with 12,376 new car buyers in 2001, showed that 17 percent of consumers visited the Web site of the dealership they bought from before they purchased or leased their car.

 "Increasingly, we see that dealership Web sites are playing a prominent role in car buyers' decisions," notes Judy George, chief operating officer of Friedman-Swift Associates. "It's more important than ever that dealerships market their Web sites and answer consumer email promptly, applying the same sound business principles in the online world as they do in the showroom."

 Most of these new car buyers (49%) said they found the dealership Web site through an Internet search engine. Other ways buyers discovered dealership Web sites included:

     * Linking to the dealership site from an automobile
        manufacturer’s site (16%)
     * Seeing the dealer's Web address in a local newspaper ad
     * Learning about the dealership Web site through a television
        commercial (2%)
     * Seeing the dealer's Web address on local billboards (1%)
     * Learning about the dealership Web site through a radio
        commercial (1%).

 "Internet networks and search engines are the single most important way in which consumers find a dealership Web site," says George. "Dealers need to make sure they are listed with not just major search engines and Internet directories like Yahoo, Google, HotBot and Lycos, but local ones as well."

 The findings are the result of 12,376 telephone surveys conducted with new car buyers throughout 2001. The research has a sampling error of less than one percent.

 Other research Friedman-Swift Associates has conducted about automobile dealership Web sites 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.


Judy George
Friedman-Swift Associates
Office: 513-772-9204, ext. 122
Voice Mail: 513-684-1246


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