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iCar Asia’s Digital Shift Study: Online research crucial to car buying process. New section within Mobil123 launched to fill the gap in online information sourcing for Indonesian car buyers

JAKARTA, September 25, 2013 – iCar Asia releases the iCar Digital Shift Study results indicating that 87% of Indonesian car buyers researched online before visiting a dealership. The findings show that buyers are seeking factual information as well as reviews and opinion articles to help with their car buying decisions.

For years, the automotive industry believed in the metaphor of “The Sales Funnel”, a six month timeline starting with the customer seeing an advert down to them buying a car. However, the iCar Asia Digital Shift Study (“Study”), a research project commissioned by iCar Asia and executed by Frost & Sullivan, reveals a very different story.

The Study finds that car buyers start with comparison websites, reviews by professionals/owners on review sites, social media, and then look for the best prices online before finally visiting a dealer for test drives. All this is done in a very short space of time with 87% of Indonesian car buyers starting and completing their purchase process within 3 months with an average length of purchase at only 1.9 months compared to Malaysia’s 2.4 months & Thailand’s 2.8 months.

Of the 90% Indonesian survey respondents who say they researched their car purchases online before buying a vehicle, 87% visited an online source an average of 6 times before visiting a dealership. In addition, more car buyers visited non-official websites (87%) rather than official car manufacturer websites (80%).

“There’s definitely a big shift in the way people look for information when looking to buy a car. With the expansion of the online space, gone are the days where dealers could wait in the showrooms for prospective car buyers to walk in. This means marketers need to be moving their focus online, attracting and engaging the buyers where the buyers are, and providing them with the information and support they need to make the right decisions.” said Damon Rielly, CEO of iCar Asia.

According to the Study, the 3 main information points Indonesian car buyers want from automotive websites are accurate car model information, recent picture of new models and buyer reviews.  

Mobil123 launches new car buying guide section to fill online automotive research gap

With the growing reliance on the internet, car buyers are no longer relying solely on dealers for information, rather, turning to online research and social media for car reviews and advice to assist them in the decision making process.

Developed in response to the Study’s findings, the new section within Mobil123 is designed to fill in the online automotive research gap that the industry is lacking. The new car buying guide section provides extensive automotive news coverage, ratings and reviews of all new cars in Indonesia, car comparisons, pricing and promotions from car manufacturers, and useful tips from industry professionals.



 “The Study clearly shows us that there isn’t one definitive place where a car buyer can look for information online when looking to purchase a car. With that, we believe that the launch of the new car buying guide section within Mobil123 will allow car buyers to not only buy or sell a car on the site, but also have all the information they need to allow them every confidence in making their purchase decision,” said Mr. Rielly.




  • 87% of the buyers research online before visiting to the actual dealership
  • Online sources and word of mouth (social) are the most important sources of research for Indonesian car buyers
  • 87% looked for information on non-official websites, i.e. automotive portals, blogs, car enthusiasts websites, etc.
  • Indonesian car buyers want from more accurate car model information (61%), latest pictures of new models (54%) and buyer reviews (52%).  


  • Indonesian car buyers take an average of 1.9 months to make a purchase decision while car buyers in Malaysia and Thailand take an average of 2.4 months and 2.8 months respectively.
  • More than 9 out of 10 car buyers say that online sources are crucial to the car buying process in Thailand (96%), Malaysia (95%) and Indonesia (90%)
  • During the car buying process, car buyers in Thailand visit a dealer an average of 3.14 times while they visit online websites for information at an average of 9.05 times. Malaysian car buyers, 3.57 times to dealers versus 6.78 times online and Indonesian car buyers, 3.10 times to dealers compared to 6.29 times online. 

For more information please contact:

Hamish Stone
Chief Executive Officer
iCar Asia Ltd
Mobile:  +60 17 473 3778
Mark Licciardo
Company Secretary
iCar Asia Ltd
Tel: +613 8689 9997

About iCar Asia Limited (

Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, iCar Asia (ASX:ICQ) owns and operates ASEAN’s No. 1 network of automotive portals. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the company is focused on developing and operating leading automotive portals in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. iCar Asia is continuously working to capitalize on its market-leading positions, with its online properties currently reaching over 4.8 million car buyers and sellers in the region every month.

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