ROCHESTER, Mich. — A new report from Foresight Research showed that car buyers often choose a dealership based on inventory and selection, no-haggle pricing, financing availability, response time and the dealership's website. It also showed that the share of new vehicles being sold to older buyers continues to rise.
Foresight’s “2012 Dealership Experience Strategy Report” polled 7,851 new-vehicle buyers, and found that a good dealership experience still does sell more cars, especially among older buyers.
As a result of the great recession, the share of new vehicles being sold to older buyers has increased steadily over the past four years,” read the study, which pointed out that the uptick has been beneficial to car dealers.
Older shoppers traditionally engage in fewer shopping activities and are influenced by fewer forms of marketing communications, the report found, making the dealership experience even more important. The study did find, however, that in 2011, buyers, including older ones, less often purchase from the same dealers (47 percent vs. 58 percent in 2010) in part due to brand switching as well as dealership cancellations.
Aside from selection, no-haggle pricing, financing availability, lead response time and the dealership’s website, buyers are influence by certain dealership elements such as the service department and a well-organized showroom.
"The auto industry recovery is being fueled by older buyers," said Steve Bruyn, CEO of Foresight Research. "In addition to their buying power, they bring different shopping and buying behaviors, including more reliance on their dealership experience. With older buyers we historically have seen higher levels of brand and dealership loyalty. That is not the case today."