Edmunds.com Identifies Car Dealers Best Equipped to Serve Internet Users


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Edmunds.com Identifies Car Dealers Best Equipped to Serve Internet Users

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — (April 4, 2005) — Car dealers equipped with the most modern technology are likely to be the best places for Internet users to buy their cars, according to Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information.

"Dealerships that invest in technology and training are likely to attract a more sophisticated workforce that respects a consumer's need to be informed. They can relate to the Internet shopper," observed Phil Reed, author of Edmunds.com's "Strategies for Smart Car Buyers." "Dealerships centrally owned by publicly traded companies such as AutoNation, Group One and United Auto Group have generally done an impressive job of embracing and satisfying customers who buy through their Internet departments. It is no surprise to learn that those companies buy technology in bulk and often share best practices between stores."

Because these publicly traded dealer groups focus on attracting Internet customers, they are unlikely to use classic tricks that turn off savvy car-buyers. For example, less progressive dealerships may invite an Internet customer to come in to sign paperwork, then turn the customer over to a "regular" salesperson who disavows knowledge of the deal and applies a high level of pressure during the sale. Edmunds.com recommends that consumers avoid dealerships that engage in this sort of "turnover." That tactic and others are listed in Edmunds.com's "Top 10 Trouble Signs at a Dealership," found at http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/top-10/top-10-trouble-signs-at-a-dealership.html.

Also, as these large "dealer groups" sell substantially more cars than the average independently owned shop, they have more to gain from customer satisfaction bonuses, and often train their personnel with high expectations of achieving as much as $500 per car for top scores.

Some consumers may feel more comfortable purchasing vehicles from dealerships owned by publicly traded companies, as the companies must abide by financial regulations and may be more likely to assert corporate responsibility should trouble arise.

Ultimately, all dealerships will come to realize that an Internet customer costs far less than a traditional customer in terms of marketing, time and other resources. Edmunds.com President Jeremy Anwyl estimates each incremental car sale from traditional media costs five to ten times the cost of generating an Internet customer; a customer who is both knowledgeable and prepared to make a deal.

About Edmunds.com, Inc.

Edmunds.com is the premier online resource for automotive information. Its comprehensive set of data, tools and services, including Edmunds.com True Market Value® pricing, is generated by Edmunds.com Information Solutions and is licensed to third parties. For example, the company supplies content for the auto sections of NYTimes.com, AOL, About.com, iVillage.com and IGN.com, provides weekly data to Automotive News and delivers monthly data reports to Wall Street analysts. Edmunds.com also publishes a high-speed, on-screen car magazine called Inside Line available free at www.insideline.com. Edmunds.com was named "best car research" site by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "most useful Web site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com StudySM and was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif. and maintains a satellite office outside Detroit.

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