Google Inc. launched two weeks ago a pilot program that sells sales leads to dealerships in the San Francisco, California market. Google confirmed the launch of the service with several new-car dealers in the San Francisco Bay area. Dealers who availed of the service could list their complete new-vehicle inventories with no upfront or monthly subscription fees.
The dealers, however, will only pay by the lead, which means that Google will only charge them if a shopper using Google requests to be contacted about a specific vehicle. The per-lead cost is determined by bid and those with the highest bids are awarded with the highest rankings in results for a specific vehicle model.
Around 66.5 percent of the US Internet searches were done in Google, according to comScore Inc. Also, around two of three visitors to dealership Web sites were directly ushered by Google search, auto industry statistics show.
This means that Google’s new service could be a potential game change for dealership, especially if it expands across the US. The new program will allow Google to connect millions of vehicle shoppers to participating dealerships without having to leave Google.
A spokeswoman for Google confirmed that the company is testing the service and gathering feedback from the Bay area. She, however, did not say whether or when the service will be made available nationwide.
Mike Shum, manager of Toyota Sunnyvale dealership, one of the test participants said the service is appealing since it allows shoppers to see his stocks without having to leave Google.