That's according to the 2001 J.D. Power and Associates Used Autoshopper.com study that shows 45 percent of used-vehicle shoppers visit a manufacturer Web site to gather information.
Dennis Galbraith, senior research manager at Power, said manufacturers who want to help dealers sell more certified used vehicles will have to improve the quality and visibility of their online promotions. "With the current glut of used vehicles, everybody is going to be interested in moving inventory in a hurry," he said.
Galbraith said used-vehicle buyers use the Internet to find information about vehicle quality, prices and trade-in values. In terms of importance, consumers rate finding vehicle reliability information online higher than they do price information.
Galbraith said he believes that some respondents did not find manufacturers' Web sites useful because of the way the sites present used-vehicle information.
"There is a variation among manufacturers' Web sites on how they handle used vehicles or if they handle them at all," he said. "Some have vehicle locators on their home pages, and some have nothing at all."
The study, released Nov. 14, explores how used-vehicle buyers use the Internet to find information. It's based on the responses of about 5,300 used-vehicle owners who purchased 1996 through 2001 model year used vehicles.