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3/6/2013 - Relationship between online ratings and automotive sales

Ratings contribute to car sales, according to a report.

With Presidents' Day just recently passing - a time of year that often brings a variety of special sales events and discounts among auto dealerships - a new analysis reveals that there may be a correlation between the popularity of vehicles among buyers and the online reviews they received.

The report, which was produced jointly by car dealer review website DealerRater and marketing solutions firm Polk, found that among those vehicles that received four stars or more from reviewers, these vehicles were approximately 25% more likely to be purchased by consumers when compared with cars that garnered two stars or less.

Chip Grueter, DealerRater president, noted that the ratings that users give to vehicles appear to have a heavy influence on the likelihood a car shopper will purchase a given automobile, as people are always interested in learning more before they buy.

"Today, 89 percent of car buyers read reviews online before purchasing a vehicle," said Grueter.

He added that this latest study suggests there's a direct correlation between vehicle reviews and sales as they "really do drive business."

While auto insurance rates are not tied to subjective opinions of others in regards to vehicles' reliability, safety ratings may be used as a partial assessment when establishing premiums. Each year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety puts thousands of models through a battery of crash tests, which establish how safe a vehicle is to drive should it be involved in a collision. How well they perform may be taken into account when setting rates.

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