CNW: Inaccurate Prices, Unbuildable Vehicles Continue to Plague Online Auto Sites

Apr 17, 2001, 01:00 ET from CNW Marketing Research

    BANDON, Ore., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The auto industry continues to be
 plagued by Internet price and orderability inaccuracies, according to CNW
 Marketing Research's second annual "Online Vehicle-Pricing Accuracy Study."
     Consumers who rely on the Internet for dealer invoice and MSRP pricing
 data are being led astray by as much as hundreds of dollars, according to CNW
 Marketing Research, Inc. In addition, the 2001 study shows many instances of a
 consumer's ideal vehicle not being "buildable" on some sites even though the
 configuration of make, model and options is offered by the manufacturer.
     CNW measured 10 third-party online automotive information providers
 including AOL.com, AutoWeb.com, CarsDirect.com, CarPoint.com, CarPrices.com,
 ChromeData (through Yahoo), Edmunds.com, IntelliChoice.com, Kelley Blue Book
 (KBB.com), and Vehix.com.
     The most accurate pricing and configuration information provider was
 Chrome for the second year in a row with an average error of barely $24, down
 from $84 a year ago.
     While this year's study shows vast improvements for some of the sites
 including Chrome and Kelley, overall inaccuracy grew from $444 in 2000's study
 to $630 this year.
     In a second phase of the study, average consumers using various types of
 computer systems were asked to rate each of the online information providers.
 CarPrice.com (singular and not to be confused with CarPrices.com) was ranked
 highest at 8.34 on a 10-point scale. It, too, uses Chrome as its price and
 vehicle-configuration provider. Kelley and Edmunds were second and third. AOL,
 AutoWeb and IntelliChoice were rated lowest.
     "As many now-defunct automotive dot-coms discovered, online new-car
 pricing is tricky and difficult," says Art Spinella, President of CNW
 Marketing Research, Inc. "It requires precision software that reduces the
 likelihood of consumer errors while accurately reflecting the manufacturers'
 dealer-invoice and MSRP prices."
     Because of the flaws in many of those former automotive sites, consumers
 are not as trusting of online automotive data as they were just a year ago,
 other CNW studies reveal.
     This increasing rate of skepticism and a rebirth of in-person
 comparison-shopping means a dealer or online site must have the most accurate
 information possible or suffer the potential loss of valuable customers.
 
 

SOURCE CNW Marketing Research
    BANDON, Ore., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The auto industry continues to be
 plagued by Internet price and orderability inaccuracies, according to CNW
 Marketing Research's second annual "Online Vehicle-Pricing Accuracy Study."
     Consumers who rely on the Internet for dealer invoice and MSRP pricing
 data are being led astray by as much as hundreds of dollars, according to CNW
 Marketing Research, Inc. In addition, the 2001 study shows many instances of a
 consumer's ideal vehicle not being "buildable" on some sites even though the
 configuration of make, model and options is offered by the manufacturer.
     CNW measured 10 third-party online automotive information providers
 including AOL.com, AutoWeb.com, CarsDirect.com, CarPoint.com, CarPrices.com,
 ChromeData (through Yahoo), Edmunds.com, IntelliChoice.com, Kelley Blue Book
 (KBB.com), and Vehix.com.
     The most accurate pricing and configuration information provider was
 Chrome for the second year in a row with an average error of barely $24, down
 from $84 a year ago.
     While this year's study shows vast improvements for some of the sites
 including Chrome and Kelley, overall inaccuracy grew from $444 in 2000's study
 to $630 this year.
     In a second phase of the study, average consumers using various types of
 computer systems were asked to rate each of the online information providers.
 CarPrice.com (singular and not to be confused with CarPrices.com) was ranked
 highest at 8.34 on a 10-point scale. It, too, uses Chrome as its price and
 vehicle-configuration provider. Kelley and Edmunds were second and third. AOL,
 AutoWeb and IntelliChoice were rated lowest.
     "As many now-defunct automotive dot-coms discovered, online new-car
 pricing is tricky and difficult," says Art Spinella, President of CNW
 Marketing Research, Inc. "It requires precision software that reduces the
 likelihood of consumer errors while accurately reflecting the manufacturers'
 dealer-invoice and MSRP prices."
     Because of the flaws in many of those former automotive sites, consumers
 are not as trusting of online automotive data as they were just a year ago,
 other CNW studies reveal.
     This increasing rate of skepticism and a rebirth of in-person
 comparison-shopping means a dealer or online site must have the most accurate
 information possible or suffer the potential loss of valuable customers.
 
 SOURCE  CNW Marketing Research