New Vehicle Internet Lead Provider
In last year’s survey, new and used vehicle Internet lead providers fell sharply out of favor with dealers while special finance lead providers still enjoyed a group average over 90. This year, the tide of dealer sentiment changed direction. In the case of new and used vehicle Internet lead providers, dealers weren’t quite as harsh with them as last year. Although neither of those categories can claim the types of scores seen in 2005 through 2007, group averages for both were up slightly from 2008. The brunt of dealers’ dissatisfaction this year was taken by special finance lead providers, a category that saw its lowest-ever group average.
Voting is this category is always heavy. One might expect that since the new car market had one of its worst years ever in 2008, dealer frustration would drive scores in this category to lower levels than last year. However, surprisingly enough, all of the providers that finished above-average in this category actually improved their scores.
CarsDirect bounced back from last year’s fourth-place finish to reclaim the Diamond Award, a position the company last held in 2006. “There are still millions of cars to be sold this year. So now the question becomes, how do we help our dealer partners get their share of these millions of sales?” said Ken Potter, vice president of sales at CarsDirect. “Over the past year, we really focused on improving overall success for our dealers by attracting more high-quality traffic to our automotive sites.”
Right on CarsDirect’s heels was AutoTrader.com, which retained the Platinum Award from last year. AutoTrader.com has earned a total of three Platinum Awards in five years, but this back-to-back win provides Double Platinum bragging rights. Dealix returned to the winner’s circle to secure the Gold Award. Despite scoring higher than last year, cars.com placed fourth.
Vol. 6, Issue 4