Best PracticesDealership Marketing

Study: Do Consumers Trust Automotive Websites

LeadiD recently published an infograhic titled, “Do Consumers Trust Automotive Websites”. Naturally, this caught my attention as the words trust and automotive were in the same sentence. Also, I just love infographics – it’s the visual consumption of content that gets me every time.

I read through the infographic expecting to learn something new, except I was left being disappointed and confused with the data. It is worth mentioning that I am familiar with LeadiD because they had reached out to us to promote this study on DealerRefresh and we hesitated because we hadn’t seen the study first. Sorry Patrick.

Now onto the Data:

The opening paragraph states: “The automobile industry is in flux. These days, dealers are feeling the crunch. Consumers are more Internet savvy, more mobile, and more finicky than ever before. Sales leads are flowing in from third party websites, and dealers are skeptical.”

Flux, really? Sales leads are flowing in. Are they quality leads, duplicate leads? Dealers are skeptical – damn straight. And, who funded this “study”? Can’t we know if a third party listing company paid to have this study done?

The Top 10 Trustworthy Third Party Auto Sites:

Kelley Blue Book, AutoTrader,, and Edmunds appear on both consumer and dealers’ lists. Hmmm. Not TrueCar?

Also, worth a HUGE note is the paragraph leading into this data stating that consumers still go to manufacturer and dealer sites, but are increasingly going to third party listing sites. What does “still” mean – did they slow down? Are dealer websites in “flux”?

60% of the time it works every time…

The study goes on to state that 60% of dealers buy leads and 40% don’t. Phew, ok they know math. However, 31% of dealers survey say they shy away from buying leads due to low quality, 30% say they focus on generating their own leads (winner, winner, chicken dinner) and 23% say they shy away from these leads due to unreliable data (John Smith is looking for a car in YOUR area, for sure. He told me). Ok – that part about them knowing math is a lie.

Question of the Day:

What does all of this data have to do with their title “Do Consumers Trust Automotive Websites”?

Where is the data around how many leads these listing companies are providing?

Where is the data around the consumer experience with the third party listing sites?

Check out the infograpic yourself and let us know your thoughts. Agree? Disagree? Have you dumped third party listings?


Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.