Google Cars: Coming to a Market Near You

June 10, 2013
Topic: Blog

Google Cars is Google’s version of Auto Trader and Cars.com, which is currently offered in San Francisco and is quickly being rolled out in other selected markets. If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, you can enter your zip code and search specific terms to find a particular vehicle in the vicinity. Results indicate pictures of cars, their prices and a link to the auto advisor’s website.

Google Cars Objective

On the auto advisor’s website, users can search the inventory of auto dealers and refine their search results.  It also has a sponsored icon feature to let users know that some auto dealers have paid Google for listings. These dealerships also provide an inventory of the cars available. Google Cars has “Why these cars?” button where the vehicles are sorted by distance and MSRP.

A click on “Google Price Info” gives information on regional price paid, invoice, MSRP and what is included in the price.

Google Cars – Contacting the Dealership

A “Get Quotes” button allows you to email or call the dealer with a Google-specific phone number. A general list of auto dealerships to contact is also provided.  All consumer contact with dealerships is done via proxy, where the dealership does not receive the customer’s phone numbers and email addresses.

Will Google Cars work?

Google has become an important part of the consumer buying process for 90% of auto buyers.  It is still unclear how the Google Cars service will affect dealers or purchasers.

  • Will the service be for new cars only or for used cars, as well?
  • Will Google Cars take away market share from Auto Trader, Cars.com and Craigslist or will it have difficulty penetrating the lead generation market?
  • What are Google’s long-term intentions?

Success of the Google Cars program depends on Google’s ability to work with the dealers, regulators and OEMs.

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