J.D. Power and Associates data has consistently shown that the RFQ rate has stayed flat at roughly one-third of new-vehicle shoppers. The story remains the same in 2010, with 31% of new-vehicle shoppers putting through an online quote. That’s still a huge group, so I thought it would be interesting to look at who these people are.
They’re a little bit younger (57% below 50 years old, vs. 49% for all new-vehicle buyers) and more educated (67% with at least a college degree vs. 57%). The latter factor drives an RFQ rate that’s much higher import brands and slightly higher for premium brands.
Most submitters want pricing information, but across all categories more than half are also interested in product availability. Notably, buyers of premium brands are slightly less interested in vehicle price (85%) and much more interested in vehicle availability (70%) compared to the entire market.
Are RFQ submitters shopping the quote? Of course they are! In fact, 54% say they chose their dealer because of the deal/price vs. 34% for non-submitters. But quote requestors also chose their dealer based on vehicle availability (40% vs. 30%) and care equally about dealer treatment.
Granted, it’s not a shocking revelation that shoppers care about price and availability. On the other hand, while RFQ has become synonymous with “gimme your lowest price,” matching the shopper to the right vehicle for him/her continues to be a critical part of the entire shopping process.