Accord tops on Web site
Autoweb.com says the 1998 Honda Accord was the most often requested car on its Web site during the first quarter of this year. The 10 most popular vehicles based on incoming purchase requests from Jan. 1 through March 31, 1998, were: Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Ford Explorer, Toyota Camry, Dodge Durango, Ford Expe-dition, Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Mustang, Ford Blazer and Volkswagen Passat.
GOOD RATES - AutoVantage, a Houston-based online auto-buying service that matches customers with dealers, has begun offering Internet shoppers online comparisons of auto insurance rates. The feature was created through an alliance between AutoVantage and Progressive Corp., one of the nation's largest auto insurance companies. Through a link to the Progressive Web site, Auto-Vantage customers can submit their state of residence, number of drivers, make and model to receive a comparison of rates for up to four major auto insurers in their state. The service is offered after customers submit a purchase request for a new vehicle.
RESPONSE TIME - Dealers should respond to Internet inquiries within an hour, says Leslie Hollings-worth, interactive manager with Gulf States Toyota Inc. in Houston. Hollingsworth, who spoke at an American Inter-national Automobile Dealers Association seminar, said a Gulf States study shows dealer response time affects sales. Dealers who responded to requests for price quotes within 24 hours had average online close ratios of 28 percent, while dealers who responded in two to three days had an average 13 percent close ratio.
NEW LINK - Auto Trader Online will provide users of the Auto Channel Web site access to the 500,000 vehicle listings in its used-vehicle database. The deal gives Auto Trader Online a presence on a car enthusiast Web site that has 2 million visitors per month. Auto Trader Online is the Internet division of Trader Publishing Co. in Norfolk, Va.
INVOICE PRICING ONLINE -First Track Productions Inc., a Web development company in Palo Alto, Calif., introduced a national Internet directory of auto dealerships that offer invoice-based pricing directly to Internet shoppers. The Web site is InvoiceDealers.com. It lists prequalified dealers by region, allowing shoppers to obtain no-haggle, invoice-based pricing on the vehicle of their choice without having to wait for custom dealer quotes or deal with a middleman.