Press Release

More Automakers Switch to Mobile Responsive Sites; Results Mixed

Excellent Mobile Shopping Experience Raises Likelihood of Test Drive

COSTA MESA, Calif.: 13 Oct. 2016 — More automakers are providing responsive and responsive/adaptive websites—sites that automatically reformat to fit the device on which they’re being viewed—yet their satisfaction still trails traditional sites overall, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Automotive Mobile Site StudySM released today.

Nearly three-fourths (72%) of manufacturers now offer some form of responsive website—up from 39% 12 months ago—in part because overall mobile usage for automotive shopping continues to trend upward.

Satisfaction is important to manufacturers because it increases the likelihood of a shopper taking a test drive. The study shows that among vehicle shoppers who are delighted with their experience on a manufacturer brand website (overall satisfaction scores above 900), 65% say they are more likely to test drive a vehicle, compared with only 15% of those who are disappointed (scores of 500 and below).

But designing and executing an effective site that will be viewed through multiple devices is not that easy.  The study finds that when manufacturers launch a responsive or responsive/adaptive site, navigation and speed satisfaction usually experience the biggest drops after implementation. Over time, though, satisfaction with such websites has shown improvement. For example, when examining the first manufacturer sites that transitioned to responsive design, overall satisfaction has increased to 778 in 2016 from 770 in 2014, driven by significant increases in speed satisfaction (771 in 2016 vs. 751 in 2014).

“Automotive manufacturer and third-party websites are increasingly being accessed via smartphones by new-vehicle shoppers,” said Deirdre Borrego, senior vice president and general manager of data & analytics at J.D. Power. “With so much at stake, manufacturers and third-party sites have to figure out how to execute an excellent online shopping experience, regardless of device.”

Automakers and third-party companies use one of three typical web design approaches:

  • Responsive provides optimal viewing of one layout that adjusts the content display based on the screen size.
  • Adaptive offers several distinct layouts optimized for various device types. Adaptive sites must maintain separate content/asset libraries for each layout, thereby increasing cost.
  • Responsive/Adaptive is a hybrid technique that adjusts the layout/content based on the screen size, but also senses the device type, thus allowing for customized content and navigation for that device type.

The study also finds that satisfaction with manufacturers’ mobile websites is quite different between Boomers[1] and Gen Y. Satisfaction is significantly lower among vehicle shoppers in the Boomer generation than among those in Gen Y across all measures: overall (759 vs. 799, respectively); navigation (733 vs. 794); appearance (784 vs. 821); information/content (759 vs. 792); and speed (757 vs. 790).

Manufacturer Website Study Rankings

Infiniti (805) ranks highest in overall manufacturer website satisfaction, followed by Jeep (803), Dodge (801) and Lincoln (801).

Third-Party Website Study Rankings (751) ranks highest in overall third-party website satisfaction, followed by TrueCar (740) and U.S. News Best Cars (740).

About the Study

The 2016 Automotive Mobile Site Study examines the features and content of automotive manufacturer and third-party mobile websites and their usefulness in the vehicle-shopping process. The study includes more than 11,500 evaluations of automotive mobile websites from vehicle shoppers who intend to purchase or lease a vehicle within the next two years. The study was fielded in July and August 2016.

For more information about the 2016 Automotive Mobile Site Study, visit

Media Relations Contacts

John Tews; Troy, Mich.; 248-868-0621; [email protected]

Geno Effler; Costa Mesa, Calif.; 714-621-6224; [email protected]

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules

[1] J.D. Power defines the generations as Pre-Boomers (born before 1946); Boomers (1946-1964); Gen X (1965-1976); Gen Y (1977-1994); and Gen Z (1995-2000 for this study).


Media Contacts