SOURCE: Jumpstart Automotive Media

Jumpstart Automotive Media

June 09, 2009 12:02 ET

From Incentives to Bankruptcy, Recent Economic Developments for Auto Brands Provide Direct Boost to Consumer Interest

Jumpstart Shares Findings on Recent Online Response to Chrysler, Hyundai and GM, and Ford

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - June 9, 2009) - Jumpstart Automotive Media, the nation's fastest growing online audience of in-market car shoppers, today announced findings showing increased consumer interest as a result of automotive brands' economic developments, both positive and negative. Studying consumer responses to brands including Chrysler, Hyundai, GM and Ford, Jumpstart identified increases in in-market interest related to news around incentives and even bankruptcy, in some cases increasing traffic as much as 77 percent.

Jumpstart's findings were derived from direct review of the usage patterns of its audience of 9 million-plus auto shoppers found on its network. The audience demonstrated increased engagement with the aforementioned brands with visitors spending more time and viewing more pages related to specific brands, which also drove an increase in their share of shopping.

"Our findings show that automotive brands are discovering opportunities during a period that for many is the most difficult in history," said Joe Kyriakoza, VP of Strategic Insights, Jumpstart. "The increase in interest we noted for all of the brands tells us that consumers are influenced by buzz, negative or positive, as well as smart messaging that resonates with the trying times consumers are experiencing."

GM sees 54 Percent Rise in Interest after Confidence Plan Introduced

Jumpstart found that first-of-their-kind incentive programs introduced in 2009 bolstered interest in Hyundai, Ford and GM vehicles quickly after each program was introduced to consumers.

--  Hyundai, first to market with its Assurance program in January,
    garnered increases in share of shopping soon after its plans were
    introduced, seeing peaks as high as 15 percent in January and February
    2009.
--  GM's share of shopping on Jumpstart's properties was at its lowest
    point in 15 months in March 2009. The GM "Confidence Plan," introduced on
    March 31, created significant interest in GM's brands within one week,
    increasing share of shopping on the Jumpstart network by 54 percent for all
    of GM brands combined, and by 77  percent for GMC and 61 percent for
    Chevrolet specifically.
--  Ford's "Advantage Plan" message increased Ford's share of shopping 63
    percent from the last week of March to the first week of April.
    

Interestingly, the incentive programs from Ford and GM benefitted Hyundai directly, with the brand's share of shopping growing by 57 percent during the same March to April transition.

Chrysler's Bankruptcy News Increases Consumer Interest

On the other end of the spectrum, Chrysler's announcement regarding its filing for bankruptcy delivered an immediate boost in traffic to Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep make and model pages by 29 percent in the first five days after the news. Chrysler also saw 22 percent more unique users to its JAM pages during the same period.

"Consumers are still actively shopping for cars, and there is no more effective way to study responses to market events than by evaluating those researching online," said Steve Wilhite, CEO, Jumpstart. "Our recent findings show that the brands that engage with the right audiences, with messages that relate to consumers' present economic values and concerns, are finding a real connection to potential buyers."

About Jumpstart

Jumpstart Automotive Media, Inc. (www.JumpstartAutomotiveMedia.com) is the leading automotive publisher rep firm and has created the largest and highest quality audience of car shoppers online. Fueled by a passion for performance, Jumpstart is committed to maximizing publisher revenue and advertiser results through innovative products and services. Jumpstart customers include automotive manufacturers, regional dealer associations, and the top 100 automotive dealers. The portfolio of publishers include Vehix, Consumer Guide Automotive, JD Power Autos, Shopping.com, CarandDriver.com, RoadandTrack.com, CarSoup.com, U.S.News.com, HybridCars, and CarGurus. Additionally, Jumpstart has been on the forefront of behavioral targeting and extends its in-market audience of car shoppers via premier distribution partners. Jumpstart is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.

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