Car Purchasing Process - US - March 2014
“As new and used car sales plateau again, as is expected in the Mintel forecast, auto manufacturers, car dealers, and marketers looking to grow their brands will have no choice but to cannibalize sales from their competitors. This will highlight the importance of effective targeting of first-time car buyers, or car buyers with relatively little experience or prejudices, such as targeting Millennials or Hispanics.”
– Colin Bird, Automotive Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How to increase vehicle ownership among Hispanics?
- How to reach Millennial car buyers?
Total US sales of new, used and CPO (certified preowned) light vehicles reached more than 57 million in 2013, an increase of 4.6% from 2012.
This is the fourth consecutive year of growth in total US vehicle sales. While the market is forecast to continue to see incremental growth in 2014 and 2015, sales growth will eventually slow, halt, and stagnate, as the market returns to its mature baseline of approximately 58 million light new and used vehicles per annum. This report explores how auto manufacturers, car dealers, and affiliated media, such as car research and vehicle inventory websites, can compete in a growingly competitive space, particularly for players looking to pick up incremental sales or those looking to defend their current share of the marketplace.
The report covers topics including why and when car shoppers decide to purchase another vehicle, what types of cross-shopping research consumers expect to do, which specific car research destinations do consumers plan to visit, such as Consumer Reports or Kelley Blue Book, and whether or not consumers plan to utilize their smartphones and tablets while car shopping.
For the purposes of this report, the car purchasing process is defined as the act, or the intended act, of the consumer to purchase a new, pre-owned, or CPO car.
- A new car will mean any new vehicle which has never been titled or registered and that has been driven less than 7,500 miles before first-title.
- A pre-owned car is any vehicle that has been previously owned and titled by at least one prior owner; the car must be operational, any car sold as scrap or for its parts and not as an operating vehicle is not considered pre-owned.
- A certified pre-owned car is any well maintained, late-model, pre-owned vehicle which has been inspected and refurbished by its original manufacturer, or another manufacturer or car dealer.
- CPO vehicles typically include warranties and other additional benefits typically bestowed only to new cars, but aren’t necessarily required.
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