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Car buyers increase use of online tools, Carmudi study shows

People interested in purchasing new or used vehicles find themselves using online resources more and more, a study finds.

According to a study commissioned by online vehicle marketplace Carmudi entitled The Changing Landscape of the Car Industry in Asia: Automotive Search Preferences in the Philippines 2014 – 2016, people are more inclined to search for vehicles for sale online rather than calling up dealers or looking at print classifieds.

In the study, Carmudi stated that, “In the first month of 2016 alone, 29% of the 47.1 million active internet users in the Philippines purchased a product or service online. And with many industries prospering throughout Asia due to this online shift, automotive manufacturers and dealers in the region have realized that online searching is now a significant, if not the most significant stage of the car buying process.”

The increase in online purchases has widely been attributed to a widespread economic growth in Asia in the last couple of years. The Philippine automotive industry is one of the areas that have felt this growth especially with 350,000 cars projected to be sold in the country by the end of the year.

To boot, the study found that there has been an almost 100 percent increase in online searches between 2016 and 2015 with 82 percent of searches being for used cars and 63 percent for brand new cars.

The research, however, states that there has been an actual decrease in second-hand vehicle sales attributed to lower down payment offers on new vehicles from car dealers.

The study also includes buyer preferences from car body styles to brands to “demonstrate the changing trends in automotive search behavior in the Philippines” and to share projections for the coming years.