LOS ANGELES - Nearly half of serious car and truck shoppers are shopping for neither the vehicle they now own nor other models of the same brand, a new study concludes.
Compete Inc., a Boston Internet research firm that studies buying habits, focused on online consumers who appeared ready to buy a new vehicle in 30 to 60 days.
The study defined potential buyers as serious shoppers if they visited third-party automotive Web sites, not just sites dedicated to a particular automaker or brand.
Lincoln Merrihew, Compete's automotive managing director, says his company monitored the vehicle brands those U.S. consumers studied.
The company contacted them and asked them about the vehicles they own.
Among the study's key findings:
"You can't influence people once they have bought," Merrihew says. "But there is so much potential in the market to reach out to people before they buy."
Compete Inc. monitored 489 online consumers between October and March for its study.