WASHINGTON - Dealer spending on Internet advertising skyrocketed in 1998, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Dealers spent $5.3 billion on all advertising last year, down slightly from 1997 on a per-vehicle basis. But they paid $297 million in the advertising category that includes the Internet, Yellow Pages and signs for special sales, a 77 percent jump from the $168 million spent in 1997.
'Based on our contacts with the dealers, we know that they are spending more of their money on the Internet,' said Liz Spear, economic analyst for NADA.
Newspapers still capture the largest share of the dealership ad budget at $2.7 billion. Dealers spent slightly less than $1 billion on TV and about the same on radio. Displays, billboards and direct-mail spending was $579 million in 1998.
The average amount spent on advertising was $219 per new vehicle, down 4 percent from $227 in 1997. The average amount spent was $202 per used vehicle, down 4 percent from $210 in 1997.