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Study: Online New-Car Shopping Surges

Reuters (Published July 12, 1999)

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (Reuters) - The share of new-vehicle buyers using the Internet to help them shop has grown to 40 percent this year from 25 percent last year, an auto consulting firm said Monday.

The growth is fueled by the increased availability of the Internet, according to a study by California-based J.D. Power and Associates.

``Although we continue to be amazed by the growth of automotive-related Internet usage, the real key is that people are using the Internet to go deeper into the shopping process than ever before,'' Chris Denove, J.D. Power's consulting operations director, said in a statement.

``For example, the number of people purchasing a vehicle through an online buying service has more than doubled in the past 12 months,'' he added.

Consumers also are placing an increased reliance on information found online to help them decide which vehicle to purchase, J.D. Power said.

Internet usage is not confined to new-vehicle buyers, as 26 percent of consumers buying a used 1994 to 1999 model-year vehicle are using the Internet to help them with their purchase, according to the study, which is scheduled for release later this month.

It was the first time J.D. Power performed a used-vehicle study, but Denove estimated 13 percent of used-vehicle buyers went online for their shopping.

``The used-vehicle buyer is more concerned with going online to locate specific vehicles for sale, which makes the Internet more of a substitute for traditional classified advertising,'' he said.

The new-vehicle study is based on more than 3,000 telephone interviews with consumers regarding their Internet use when shopping for a new vehicle. The used-vehicle study is based on nearly 10,000 mail survey respondents who just purchased a used vehicle.

Both studies were funded by Agoura Hills, Calif.-based J.D. Power.

Questions or Comments Copyright (c) 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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