Automotive Market Research Reports

Our Past Work

Here are samples of traditional automotive market research reports and projects we have driven in the past.

Using Root & Associates Research: Mark O’Neil at 2017 Automotive Forum

Cox Automotive COO Mark O’Neil references Root & Associates study for thought leadership purposes at the 2017 Automotive Forum.

Cox Research Utilized for Product Development & Thought Leadership

Root & Associates can help you maximize your research investment in a variety of ways. We have experience ranging from strategic planning to product and industry awareness.

Self Driving Cars, Autonomous Vehicles & Shared Mobility Reality, Timelines & Impacts

2015 Presentation by Kevin Root

This document is an overview of key findings that I have compiled from reputable sources as well as my interpretation for how we in the auto industry and technology space will be effected. I believe most of my industry colleagues are interested in better understanding the impact on existing businesses and timelines. I anticipate this might be a good thought starter for many organizations.

Consumer Experience Research, 2015: DrivingSales

Providing a quality customer experience is a key differentiator for new car dealerships. This research set out to understand the importance of consumer experience, what shoppers expect and how an optimal experience positively impacts dealership business.

Keynote at Driving Sales Executive Summit & Presidents Club

Key stats:

  • 3 out of 4 consumers used 3rd party websites while shopping while significantly less used dealership websites.

  • 61% first mode of contact was to physically visit the dealership emphasizing the importance of the dealership visit

  • 43% of people will leave a dealership if personal information is needed to get a purchase price

Research methodologies:

  • Qualitative and Ethnographic Interviews

  • In-Dealership Shop-a-longs

  • Quantitative Survey

  • Principle Component Analysis

  • Conjoint Analysis

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Kevin Root Speaking on Stage at 2011 JD Power Automotive Roundtable
Keynote Presentation at JD Power and Associates Automotive Roundtable 2011

The Rise of Loyalty, Advocacy & Influence: Social Media and the New Automotive Purchase Cycle

2012 Dealer.com in partnership with DriverSide and GfK

With social media channels adoption officially mainstream, this research showed the significant influence of social media channels, Facebook on car shopping and specifically dealership and vehicle consideration. Inspired by McKinsey & Company’s Consumer Decision Journey, the research showed the automotive purchase process was cyclical and heavily influenced by the advocacy of friends and family – both positively when people recommended a vehicle or dealership – and negatively.

Key stats:

  • 27% of car shoppers who use Facebook have or will use it as a resource for shopping for a new vehicle

  • 41% of those that used social media said they saw a post that caused them consider a new brand or model

  • 25% of the car buying population feels social media has a significant influence on their purchase decisions.

Research methodologies:

  • Quantitative Survey

  • Qualitative Interviews

Service Marketing: New Solutions for New Challenges

2010: DriverSide in partnership with R.L Polk

Keynote at Digital Dealer 2010

In 2010, deep in economic downturn, consumers were postponing purchasing new cars. With more older vehicles on the road, demand for service was a natural consequence yet dealership service departments were losing valuable business due to distrust and perceptions of overcharging. This research looked closely at the perception of dealership service departments and how service management can better connect with consumers to build service appointments and increase dealership service revenue.

Key stats:

  • 66% felt that dealership service departments were most likely to overcharge

  • 53% felt that locally owned repair shops would provide the best value for their money

  • Results for new car dealerships implementing optimal service marketing showed a 27% increase in service frequency and $107 increase in annual revenue per customer

Research methodologies:

  • Quantitative Survey

  • Mystery Shopping

cobalt-2007-dealer-ebusiness-study
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Kevin Root Speaking at JD Power and Associates Automotive Roundtable 2008
Keynote at JD Power and Associates Automotive Roundtable 2008

Dealer eBusiness Performance Study: The New Buying Influences, 2007

The Cobalt Group, in partnership with Yahoo! and R.L. Polk

In 2007, when online consumer reviews were still used mostly used for restaurants, we set out to understand dealership Internet lead handling and the impact of search and consumer reviews on vehicle shopping and purchasing. Widely cited by many in the automotive industry, we were the first to advocate for embracing and nurturing consumer reviews as a powerful marketing channel for both new business and to build loyalty.

Key stats:

  • 55% of vehicle 3rd party leads resulted in a sale of a new or used car

  • 43% used consumer ratings and reviews to select a dealership

  • 73% said they would use dealership reviews and rankings for future vehicle purchases.

  • A conjoint analysis showed that consumers valued a good buying experience nearly as much as the lowest price of a vehicle and were sometimes willing to forgo the lowest price for a better dealership buying experience

Research methodologies:

  • Quantitative Survey

  • Conjoint Analysis

  • Internet lead-to-sale Analysis of 1 million leads

  • Mystery Shopping

List of Additional Projects

  • 2008 Automotive eShopper Experience Study: Cobalt
  • 2007 Dealer eBusiness performance Study: Cobalt, Yahoo, RL Polk
  • 2005 Industry & Dealership eBusiness Performance Study: Cobalt