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Survey: More consumers willing to buy cars online

June 6, 2014
More consumers around the world appear ready to buy cars online without coming into contact with a dealership, a new survey by consulting firm Capgemini found.
About one in three consumers in the U.S. say they expect to buy their next car online. That’s slightly below the average in the 10 countries surveyed and far below the highest country surveyed, China, where 61 percent of consumers want to buy online.
The survey is interesting, given how changes in car-buying behavior are starting to create rumblings in the U.S. Tesla Motors, the electric-car maker, has been trying to direct sell to the public but has been turned down flatly or faces trouble in several states as traditional car buyers turn to the protection of state franchise laws.
About three out of four consumers worldwide say they are open to alternative ways to test drive a car rather than the tradition of going to a dealership. That might include going to a test-drive center or having the vehicle brought to their house. 
The survey found that 45 percent of consumers still want to test drive cars and 43 percent want to touch, feel and otherwise get to know the vehicle before they buy.
Capgemini also found that 40 percent of consumers are open to not owning a car in the traditional sense at all. They say they’re open to the idea of car sharing of some other way of having access to a car.
The survey was based on responses of 10,571 consumers total in 10 countries. Besides the U.S., they included France, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, South Korea, India, China, Brazil and the United Kingdom.