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Online sportscar interest exceeds volume in market

Sportscars are the used vehicles most in demand online, followed by executive models and 4x4s, according to online search analysis for Automotive Management by Auto Trader Digital.

The company has compared its website activity with corresponding national data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

The information on these two pages relates to September 2000 and provides in-depth analysis of retail buyers' search patterns. It shows how those seeking cars online compare with others visiting dealerships.

Pete Comber, Auto Trader Digital data mining and new product development manager, said the internet audience was not entirely reflective of the UK population as a whole. “It has more of a male bias, tends to be younger and there is a higher concentration among A-B socio-economic groups,” he said. “Auto Trader's user profile is more upmarket.

“Most of the vehicles in heaviest demand from our website are likely to appeal to affluent 25-35 year-old men.” Last September, the VW Golf was the most sought-after car at Auto Trader's website, followed by the BMW 3 Series, Ford Escort and Fiesta, and Peugeot 306.

Mr Comber said cars rated as best used buys by the motoring press appeared to be in most demand via Auto Trade Digital. “There is clearly an upmarket bias playing a factor here, with the BMW 5 Series in the top 10,” he said. “Also, people are more likely to want the current model now, rather than the previous 5 Series.

“About five years after a model replacement, used car buyers become more interested in the current version. In September, there were 3,000 more searches for the Vauxhall Vectra than its predecessor, the Cavalier. That was more or less a reverse of the data a year earlier when the Cavalier was a similar proportion ahead.”

For the full report and data tables see this week's issue of Automotive Management.

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