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Used Car Buyers Take To The Internet - AA Autobay


AA Autobay (, one of the fastest growing South African online market places for the buying and selling of privately owned used cars, has announced the findings of a research survey on the use of the Internet in searching for pre-owned vehicles. The study shows that the Internet is becoming the preferred tool in sourcing and researching used cars by potential buyers.

While it has long been suspected that new and used car buyers, with Internet access, conduct online research before visiting car dealers, the extent to which it occurs is largely unknown in the South African market. Up until now there has also been no indication as to the growth of the local online used car market.

The research conducted by AA Autobay covers a six month period and evaluates how used car buyers utilise the Internet and, more particularly, search engines to carry out investigations into different car brands. The company tracked 23 different car brands over this period, including Toyota, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Ford, Honda and Audi.

Top 12 Brand Specific Cars Searched for on the Internet

Car Brands____Estimated Internet Search Share(SA Only)____
______________JULY 2007___RANKING______OCT 2007___RANKING ==========================================================
Honda __________Below 2%__Below 12_________20%__________1
Hyundai __________13.5% ______1 ___________11% __________2
Toyota ___________12.6% ______3 ___________10% __________3
Volkswagen _______12.9% ______2 ___________9.8% _________4
BMW _____________9.4% ______5 _____________7.4% ________5
Land Rover _______6.2% _______6 ___________5.6% _________6
Ford _____________9.9% _______4 ___________4.7% _________7
Nissan ___________5.4% _______7 ___________4.7% _________8
Opel _____________5% ________8 ___________4% ___________9
Mercedes Benz ____3.9% _______9 ___________3.2% _________10
Mazda ____________2.3% _____12 __________2.9% _________11
AUDI _____________3.4% _____10 __________2.9% _________12

Ed Gassner, CEO, AA Autobay, says the volume of potential car buyers searching on a particular brand is fluid from month to month. “It is influenced by many factors such as marketing, advertising campaigns, and new model launches. The data regarding Honda is a typical example. In July the brand did not rank in the top 12. However, in October Honda was ranked first with a 20% share of the search volume.

“The used car market is not influenced by the same factors. Toyota is ranked number one, followed by BMW, Ford, Honda, and Volkswagen for brand specific searches. Used car buyers tend to search more generally using specific search terms, such as used cars or used vehicles. This indicates that users are looking for a hub or portal of useful information,” says Gassner.

AA Autobay sees this research data as significant in that it provides a clear direction on what the market is looking for. It also shows the upward trend in online car research for both new and used cars. Over the six month period it is noted that car brand and used car Internet searching for the South African market, increased from an estimated 1 million monthly searches to over 2 million car related searches. It is also noted that used car/ vehicle searches increased by over 25% over the same time period, with used car market related searches accounting for +/- 30% of the search volume. With an estimated 5 million South Africans having Internet access, the data points to the Internet being a primary new and used car research tool

AA Autobay launched in Gauteng in May this year and opened branches nationwide in September. The company has already recorded over 1.2 million page impressions in October underscoring the growing trend in online used car research.

“Used car buyers are looking for a cost-effective alternative to buying through dealers, while used car sellers typically would like more than the trade-in price offered. More importantly, we are finding that buyers and sellers are looking for the complete package. Fast and easy used car research, cars with AA Inspections, safe and controlled test drives, car financing and insurance, guaranteed payment, mechanical warranties and all the paper work and transfer arranged for both parties. AA Autobay was formed to provide exactly that – A complete used car solution where private buyers can negotiate, finance and insure the purchase of a privately owned used car,” concludes Gassner.

Enquiries: Tania Steenkamp
Manager: Communications
AA Autobay
Tel: 011 277 0057


 South Africa
 AA Autobay
 Used Cars

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