Domestic brands saw a spike in popularity among online shoppers in the second quarter, according to Autobytel Inc.'s Consumer Choice report.
With domestic vehicle sales flat industry-wide in Q2, the Autobytel report suggests that strong online sales have helped U.S. auto makers' market share.
The study is based on purchase requests from visitors to Autobytel's website.
Among Autobytel's most popular vehicles overall, the number of shoppers requesting domestic makes rose nearly 15% vs. Q1. Imports rose just over 4%.
Three of the top 5 (and 9 of the top 15) makes with the biggest percentage gains in online requests were domestic brands — including Lincoln (up 22%), GMC (+20%), Chrysler (+12%), Buick (+11%), Cadillac (+40%), Chevrolet (+17%) and Ford (+15%).
Year-over-year gains were also dramatic — with requests for Cadillac models up a full 74%, Chevrolets up 35% and Fords up 8% versus Q2 2002.
“Many factors are at play, but the relationship between increased Internet marketing spending and increased sales is becoming clear,” says Autobytel CEO Jeffrey Schwartz.