TEST drives conducted by dealers have halved in number during the past year.
The shock finding is from Google, which also reports that twice as many car buyers now visit just one dealership as part of their buying process.
A third of buyers now go to only a single retailer before signing on the dotted line. Which, says Google’s automotive director, Adrian Joseph, is dramatic.
‘We are arguably in the midst of the biggest change in recent times within the automotive industry – a change driven by significant shifts in consumer behaviour enabled by technology and, in particular, the internet.
‘Understanding these changes, and the opportunities they present, is key to managing business in a tough trading environment. The influence of some traditional media is falling dramatically.
‘In short, the car-buying process is being turned on its head. This toxic situation has serious implications for dealerships, and understanding the online opportunity to affect consumer choice has never been more critical.’
The news comes as a taster of presentations at EurotaxGlass’s conference, Driving Business – opportunities for profit and growth in an uncertain market. It’s to be held at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on 13 November. Where, we’re sure, many more dramatic changes will be revealed.