The Internet is slowly replacing all sorts of middlemen in the auto purchasing business with more people and businesses going online in selling or buying cars. Yet cars for sale are still mostly showcased in auto showrooms and car sales are still mostly conducted by car dealers.
In emerging markets, including the Philippines, where mobile and Internet penetration is growing but still considerably low compared to western markets, car dealers still play a significant role. Through partnerships with local auto dealers in the country, Carmudi conducted a survey in order to analyze what Filipino motorists look for before purchasing a car and how car dealership visits are perceived by prospective buyers.
The Philippines has a relatively high average national income. Paired with thriving car financing in the country, car sales are rapidly increasing. Carmudi’s survey found that 33-percent of Filipinos have bought a car in the past 1 to 2 years, while 38-percent last bought a car in the past 3 to 5 years.
While all survey respondents reported that that making dealer visits are important before purchasing, 59-percent of Filipinos also stated that they prefer buying a car at a dealer rather than online. 60-percent of respondents reported that they made an average of one to two visits to an auto dealership before making a purchase. Interestingly, Carmudi found none of the car buyers considered having a good relationship with a car dealer as an important factor in the car buying process. Filipinos tend to focus more on friendly price tags and great resale value as the top two factors that lead them to purchase a car, at 81-percent and 61-percent respectively.
Th study shows that all respondents agree that visiting auto dealerships is important before purchasing a car. 89-percent of Filipino car buyers find visiting auto dealerships as a pleasant experience as they can compare different type of cars in one visit. Aside from the ability to test-drive vehicles at dealerships, Filipinos also found car dealers to be informative sources as they can walk buyers through all the features that are offered in their car of interest.
Contrary to popular belief, 60-percent of Filipino car buyers find prices of cars offered at dealerships to be competitive and not more expensive than buying from private sellers. Despite Filipinos’ love of car dealers, there’s still room to improved. 51-percent reportedly find purchasing cars at dealerships to be bureaucratic, and report feeling overwhelmed with the necessary paperwork.
Subir Lohani, managing director of Carmudi Philippines, said, “While most people find the convenience of using internet as platform in selling and buying, car buyers still finds the value of visiting car dealer as they can walk through and see its special features.”
“On the survey, 61-percent are dominated by male and 39-percent were female,” adds Lohani.