Automotive Market Research Articles

Auto industry market research, auto industry trends & analysis, market research in automotive industry, vehicle registration data.

Trend 19: Auto Sales Rise in August and September

The US automotive industry has always played a large part in the economy, and the same industry that once needed a taxpayer bailout to stay alive may be the one to stave off another recession. Over the past two years, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Chrysler Group and other auto companies have added 90,000 manufacturing jobs—a 14% increase—according to federal employment data. New vehicle sales in August neared 1.3 million, according to Autodata Corp. This is the highest monthly sales figure since August 2007. After this surge in vehicle sales, analysts announced that they expect the industry will...

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Trend 21: Using Social Media Effectively

Trend 21: Using Social Media Effectively

Here’s how to effectively use your social media campaign to connect with your customers and evaluate your business. Building a large following of fans is nice or fun to brag about, but to really make your social media campaign work, you have to attract fans that have the potential to become customers. For example, if you are a small business with no online presence operating in Miami FL, having fans from Cleveland, OH won’t do you much good. “Likes” vs social media interaction Having “likes” and “fans” is helpful, but what you should really strive for is actual interaction...

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Trend 22: The Importance of Email in Online Shopping

Trend 22: The Importance of Email in Online Shopping

Welcome back to our blog! Today we will give you a look at how important email is when driving up sales during the holiday season. Email is an important tool for increasing your online traffic, as well as sales— especially on key promotional dates such as Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving weekend. Studies have found that consumers are more receptive to marketing influence on these big promotion days. More than half of online buyers learned about Cyber Monday deals from online retailer emails. Other ways of learning were, “I visited the site directly,” “Facebook, Twitter, or other social network,” and...

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Trend 24: Where Crankshaft Buyers Find Information

Trend 24: Where Crankshaft Buyers Find Information

Have you ever wondered where automotive enthusiasts find information about products, vehicles, maintenance, and what’s going on in the automotive world? We surveyed automotive enthusiasts who had recently bought or shopped for crankshafts to learn about their information gathering habits. Enthusiasts tend to seek information on the internet, in mail order catalogs and through parts and accessories manufacturers more than anywhere else. Listed below are the 15 sources where buyers get their information. Where buyers find information: Blog Social Media Site (Facebook, LinkedIn…) Magazines Chain Parts Store Car Shows Garage Internet Search Independent Shop Manufacturer Mail order/Catalog Car/Truck Dealer...

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Retail Auto Parts Sales Outlook for 2012

Welcome back to our blog! Today we’ll look at auto aftermarket Trend 25: Our outlook for retail auto parts and accessories sales for 2012 and two important industry trends you should know: Auto parts trends 2012 1). January-June 2012 showed about a 5.4% increase over 2011 despite June showing a decrease from one year ago. June 2012 went negative partially because June 2011 was a huge month. Still, it was the first month that didn’t show an increase over the previous year since February 2010 and that’s a concern. Even with June showing a decrease, the first half of...

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Amazon and 3 Predictions for the Automotive Aftermarket

Our series of automotive trends continues with our predictions on one of the automotive aftermarket’s largest retailers, Amazon. Prediction 1: Amazon will start charging sales tax. More states are following suit in the bid to make Amazon charge sales tax, leveling the playing field for retail stores. California, Texas, and Pennsylvania are among the states to do so recently. Congress is considering passing “The Marketplace Equity Act,” which would require all online retailers with more than $1 million in annual sales to collect sales tax. As the tables turn on Amazon and their advantage of not charging customers sales...

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eBay and 3 Predictions for the Automotive Aftermarket

The online giant eBay is growing and evolving with both consumers and merchants in mind. It’s now more than an online auction site and “the world’s online marketplace.” It has evolved into sales platforms and technologies, through its many subsidiaries, supporting both online and offline retail sales. There’s a solution for large online retailers as well as “mom and pop” local retailers. Today, eBay’s mission is to take the “e” out of “ecommerce” and support commerce at all levels through all channels. Shopping anytime, anywhere is eBay’s new vision. Here are our predictions for eBay and the automotive aftermarket....

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Google and 4 Predictions for the Automotive Aftermarket

Google automotive

Google is significantly changing the online landscape with new services like Google+, Google Wallet and Google Shopping. Here are our predictions how these services will be a significant specialty auto parts industry trend. Prediction 1: SEO and paid search is a battle for real estate, not just position. Search engine marketing will no longer just be about being on the first search results page. It will be about the total real estate on the page including results for Google+, Google Shopping and other Google search enhancements. (Editor’s note: this article was written in 2012. For a more recent update...

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Trend 29: SEMA CDI, Consumer Confidence And a September Rebound

SEMA Consumer Demand Index

Today’s market research trend: Consumer Demand and Confidence improved in September. The SEMA Consumer Demand Index (CDI) and Consumer Confidence rebounded in September. The SEMA CDI jumped to 45, the highest level since it hit 57 back in October, 2010. Consumer Confidence made a 9-point jump from August, the highest it has been since February. We like to track CDI (blue line, left scale) against Consumer Confidence (red line, right scale) since they track closely to each other. It’s also a unique combination of intent to buy (the SEMA CDI) and how consumers feel. This is important because Consumer...

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Trend 30: 3 Things You Didn’t Know About 2007-2013 GMC Sierra Owners

Our 30th trend will give you a look at 2007-2013 GMC Sierra (1500) owners and a bit of a comparison to its counterpart, the Silverado. Like the Silverado, Sierra sales in the US have fluctuated with an overall decline since 2005 with a slight rise in the past 2 years. Here are the available yearly sales figures: 2007: 208,243 2008: 168,544 2009: 111,842 2010: 129,794 2011: 149,170 Here are 3 things you should know about Sierra owners: 1). 43% of 07-13 Sierras on the road are flex fuel type vehicles, 56% are gasoline and less than 1% are compressed...

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Trend 31: 3 Things You Didn’t Know About 2007-2013 Silverado Owners

Our 31st trend will give you a look at 2007-2013 Chevy Silverado (1500) owners and help you understand some demographics involved with this specific vehicle owner. Silverado sales in the US have fluctuated with an overall decline since 2005. Here are the available yearly sales figures: 2007: 618,259 2008: 465,065 2009: 316,554 2010: 370,135 2011: 415,130 Here are 3 things to know about Silverado owners: 1). 20% of 07-13 Silverado owners purchased their truck in November or December (from 2006-2011). 2). 07-13 Silverado owners have an average household income of $63,703; for comparison the average household income is around...

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Trend 32: The Consumer’s Definition of Performance

Trend 32: The Consumer’s Definition of Performance

A large portion of the automotive aftermarket offers products that improve “performance,” but what exactly is performance? In 2009, Hedges & Company originated market research on how automotive enthusiasts define “performance” as part of the original Opinion Leaders Program for the 2009 SEMA Show. We released a report on our findings and completed another Opinion Leaders Program study again in 2010. Here is what we found: Almost universally, enthusiasts associate “performance” with “an improvement in function” and not necessarily with “speed.” This is worth noting because the aftermarket industry often associates the word “performance” with horsepower. In fact, many...

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Trend 34: 3 Things You Didn’t Know About 2008-2013 Dodge Challenger Owners

The Dodge Challenger resurfaced in 2008 after being dormant for 25 years, thrilling Mopar fans and muscle car enthusiasts alike. The third generation of its kind, the 2008-2013 Challenger sold over 100,000 vehicles in its first 4 years of resurgence. Here are some vehicle registration statistics about the new age of Challenger owners: 1). 30% of 2008-2013 Challenger owners have an estimated credit risk score of 730-769. 2). 2008-2013 Challenger owners have an average household income of $73,993; for comparison the average household income is around $51,000. 3). 78% of 2008-2013 Challenger owners are male and 22% are female....

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Trend 35: Facts About Consumers Reading Emails on Smartphones

Trend 35: Facts About Consumers Reading Emails on Smartphones

Welcome back to our blog for another look at the Automotive Aftermarket! Here is Market Research Trend 35 covering automotive email marketing: Facts About Consumers Reading Emails on Smartphones. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach consumers because over 90% check email at least once a day either on a PC or on a mobile device. To maximize effectiveness you can tailor your marketing message to specific consumers to give them material they want to see. Basing email content on customer purchases and preferences aren’t the only benefits though, email marketing is very cost effective and...

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4 Things Wrong With Your Social Media Strategy

4 Things Wrong With Your Social Media Strategy

Are you making these common mistakes with your social media strategy? Mistake 1: Assuming that consumers follow you to have a “relationship.” Most don’t. The vast majority of consumers follow brands on social media to get discounts. Only two out of ten consumers follow brands to have a relationship (these are the hard-core evangelists that really like a brand) and eight out of ten really want a deal. Many brands with social media sites spend a lot of time trying to build relationships with their followers but a lot of these marketers are actually spinning their wheels. To maximize...

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Trend 37: The Automotive Interests of Fuel and Oil Pump Buyers

Trend 37: The Automotive Interests of Fuel and Oil Pump Buyers

Our 37th market research trend will give you a look at the automotive interests of fuel and oil pump buyers. 380 enthusiasts who had shopped for or purchased a fuel or oil pump took this survey and were given a list of 8 automotive interests to pick any number of activities that they take part in (respondents could choose more than one answer). The 8 automotive interests were: own a car/truck/off-road club compete in car shows attend motorsports events organize or promote car/truck show member of car or truck club participate in motorsports organize motorsports/racing events participate in off-road...

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