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Where Enthusiasts Go For Automotive Info

A survey conducted in April 2010 by Fast Lane Research finds that automotive enthusiasts are still inclined to use automotive magazines as a major source of information. Some of the magazines they turn to may be digital rather than paper, but magazines are still selected by more enthusiasts as an information source than any other source out there.


Forums come in second and manufacturers’ websites come in third in enthusiasts’ quest for knowledge, while catalogues and car shows rounded out the top five.  It is interesting that 3 of the top 5 information sources cited by enthusiasts are traditional rather than high tech.  Granted the magazines and catalogs may be digital, but the point is they are old school approaches to supplying information to industry consumers.

It is also apparent that automotive enthusiasts are interested in what the manufacturers have to say.  Notice that 66% of enthusiasts look to manufacturers’ websites and 33% turn to catalogs.  In both cases the information comes from the folks who produce the products that are used to modify vehicles.

The percentages in the following table will not add up to 100%, because we asked enthusiasts to tell us all the sources they use.  So 90% of those who responded in our study use automotive magazines as a source of information about vehicles, custom parts and accessories.

When you need information or opinions about vehicles, custom parts and accessories,    
WHERE DO YOU GO FOR INFORMATION?   (Mark all that apply)                                              

Automotive Magazines                                                       90%

Automotive Forums                                                            71%

Internet - Manufacturer's Websites                                      66%

Catalogues                                                                        53%

Car / Truck Shows                                                             42%

Friends/Family                                                                   41%

Internet - Retail Store Websites                                           38%

Car club & club members                                                    33%

Custom Shops / Installers                                                    32%

Internet - Auction Websites (i.e. eBay...)                              29%

Chain Auto Parts Stores                                                      26%

Independent Parts Stores                                                    21%

Vehicle Dealership                                                             20%

Internet - Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.                               14%

Newspaper Classifieds                                                         4%

Retail Department Stores                                                      2%

Other, please specify                                                           4%

Interestingly, only 14% of enthusiasts use some of the better known social media forms in their search for automotive information.