Automotive News Webinar: Industry Insights and the EV Customer

It’s no secret gas prices are high right now. In fact, according to AAA, they reached an all-time high with a national average of $4.17 per gallon. That tops the previous record of $4.11 that was set during the recession of 2008.

So, do we sit here and complain about it? Or do we find a solution?

Automotive News brought in the big guns for its latest webinar titled “Be Ready For What’s Next: Industry Insights and the EV Customer.” The goal was to educate auto dealers and their marketing partners on consumer search trends and the rise in popularity of electric vehicles. Who better to turn to than the number one search engine in the world: Google!

The experts who shared their insights were Kyle Keogh and Thomais Zaremba. Keogh serves as Google’s Industry Director of Media Sales Relationships for the Automotive Industry while Zaremba boasts the title of Google’s Director of US Automotive Advertising. In short, these two know their stuff.

EV, ICE, PHEV, SATs… Okay, that last one we added for emphasis. But the point is that there are some commonly used abbreviations that we’ll clear up.

EV: electric vehicle. These are fully electric models that have a battery rather than a gas tank. The motor is also electric rather than an internal combustion engine – found in gasoline-powered vehicles.

ICE: internal combustion engine. These are your conventional vehicles that are powered only by a gas-fueled engine.

PHEV: plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. These vehicles combine the two above by offering an electric battery as well gas to power its engine.

Keogh focused solely on EVs and provided eye-opening statistics.
16% of vehicle purchases were made online last year compared to just 1% in 2018.
Dealers have roughly 1/3 of the inventory they had in 2019.
64% of shoppers are abandoning brand loyalty if their first choice isn't available.
EV models were 3% of retail sales in 2021.
94% of shoppers did not consider an EV.

Why should we care about pushing EVs if only 6% of the population is even considering them? Uh, do we have to remind you about those high gas prices again?

That number will only continue to grow. Google’s data shows that there are plenty of opportunities within the market of those who considered an EV.

Demographics of people who considered an EV:

  • 72% are under the age of 45
  • 72% have children in the household
  • 79% are in the top 30% of household income

So, what’s that tell us?

It means younger people, who have future drivers in the house, have a lot of money they are looking to invest in their vehicle purchase.

Dealers and their marketing partners’ ears are ringing now.

Since they are spending more, EV shoppers are more meticulous in their research. 89% of this market is heavily dependent on online video. As a result, YouTube was their top choice for consuming content.

They considered an average of 2.8 segments (compared to the average shopper of 1.7), 5.6 makes (double the average of 2.8), and took about 3 months to make a decision (much longer than a normal vehicle purchase).

Keogh, armed with all these stats, set the stage perfectly for Zaremba to step in. She acknowledged the stat that EVs only made up 3% of retail sales last year and served up a history lesson.

10 years ago, did consumers want to shell out big bucks for a watch that synced with their phones? 10 years ago, did consumers want to be able to tell their lights to turn on? Nope, but Apple and Amazon saw the future and made people want these products.

Did I ever envision my 81-year-old grandmother sending emojis and GIFs while being more tech-savvy than some of my millennial friends? Nope, but here we are…

Grandma Text

The point is, history has proven that consumers will change and adapt to new technology if it’s marketed and priced properly.

There are roughly 30 EV models on the market right now. Zaremba stated that number will grow to more than 150 by 2025. For you math nerds out there, that’s a 400% increase in less than three years.

Dealers must remember the basic marketing funnel in order to sell more EVs. First, build awareness. Next, impact consideration. And finally, drive a purchase action.

To do that, dealers and manufacturers must invest in digital marketing strategies. 70% of car shoppers use Google search during research. 89% of shoppers frequent YouTube. Are you taking the necessary steps to be there when people are looking?

If you are, congratulations. You are building awareness. But are you taking the next step and impacting consideration? Are you providing valuable content that consumers are looking for?

As with any new product, Zaremba insisted that dealers and manufacturers must make it easy for shoppers to learn about EVs. EV-based searches on Google are at an all-time high. Consumers are curious and asking questions like “how do electric vehicles work?” A lot of search queries deal with how charging them works. These are great opportunities for you to provide those valuable answers.

Once you’ve done that, how can dealers sell more? Zaremba stated that dealers must show why EVs are a better option than ICEs for consumers. Simple comparisons can go a long way.

JAY works with many auto dealers across the country. We are certified Google Partners and are dedicated toward helping our partners navigate the ever-changing automotive world. That’s why we attend webinars like this one, trade shows, manufacturer conferences, and more.

In fact, we even have a website dedicated to dealers. Visit to see how we’ve helped dealers improve brand awareness, drive website and foot traffic, and, frankly put, sell more cars!

Interested in automotive advertising services? Contact us today!

Guy Smith

Guy Smith
Automotive Executive / Vice President
O. 585.264.3624
C. 585.739.8718

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