More than 250,000 new Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles were sold through FordDirect Internet referrals in 2005, a 15 percent increase from 2004.
And 10 percent of all Ford-brand sales came from consumers who used referrals from FordDirect, a joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and its dealers. More growth is expected in 2006.
FordDirect should eclipse last year's record, said Steve St. Andre, FordDirect COO.
"More Ford buyers are going to the Web," he said.
In addition to managing Internet referrals, FordDirect also is picking up responsibility for dealer technology tools once managed inside Ford.
Last fall, FordDirect took over operation of DealerConnection, which hosts individual dealer Web sites, and SalesPoint, Ford's dealer lead management system. St. Andre said that under FordDirect, the operations already have made financial improvements.