Third-Party Auto Sites Lead Web Traffic

In a report released Monday, Jupiter Media Metrix concluded that while car manufacturer sites such as Ford and Toyota generally garnered less traffic than third-party auto resource sites such as Carpoint.com and Autotrader.com, automaker sites are poised to take the lead in the future.

Jupiter analysts cite auto manufacturers’ deep financial resources, their multi-channel presence and access to dealers, consumers and information as significant competitive advantages.

According to the report, car manufacturer sites grew 31.2 percent in the last year, while automotive resource sites grew 25.2 percent. Unique visitors to car manufacturer sites increased from 6.2 million to 8.2 million, while traffic to automotive resource sites increased from 16 million to 20 million between July 2000 and July 2001.

“While car manufacturer sites are catching up, consumers still perceive third-party auto sites to be more impartial and innovative, offering tools, chat rooms and a breadth of links to services that were only recently adopted by some manufacturers,” said Julie Ask, a Jupiter analyst.

DATA POINTS:
–Car shoppers are avidly using the Internet for research, spending an average of more than 10 minutes on automotive sites every month.

–Automotive resource sites Kbb.com, Carpoint.com, Autotrader.com, Autovantage.com and Edmunds.com claimed the top five spots in the automotive category in terms of unique visitors, while sites of car manufacturers such as Ford.com, Chevrolet.com, Toyota.com and BMW.com ranked 11, 13, 19 and 31, respectively.

–According to AdRelevance, Jupiter Media Metrix’s online ad-tracking service, top automotive advertisers in July 2001 were car manufacturers: Toyota, with 109 million ad impressions; Ford, with 93 million ad impressions; and General Motors, with 83 million ad impressions.

–Car manufacturers placed a total of 443 million ad impressions during the same period, while automotive resource sites placed 225 million ad impressions.

Source: Jupiter Media Metrix