US Car Brands Targeting Smartphone Users

More than a quarter of iPhone, iPod touch, and Android users in the US plan to buy a car in the next year – and 78 per cent will use their mobile device to help them, according to a new study carried out by US mobile ad netywork, Greystripe. The data was collected from users on the companys network of touch devices during a three-month period spanning  November 2010 – February 2011.

According to the survey, 15.6 per cent of users are looking to buy a new car in the next year and an additional 10.4 per cent are looking to buy a used car in the next year, giving a total of 26 per cent of users who are in the market for a car in the next 12 months.  

US iPhone and Android users are three times more likely to say they intend to buy a new car than the rest of the US population according to figures from, and as a result, the automotive industry is attempting to tap into the smartphone market, says Greystripe. 

Greystripe highlights three ways in which US car makers are engaging with potential customers via mobile:using the medium to advertise; creating mobile apps, such as Hyundais iPad instruction manual for its latest sedan (saloon) car; and through apps that integrate with the car. For example, GM is adding 14 new car models, including Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac, that link to OnStars mobile app, enabling users to download car data to their smartphones.

“Touch device users are a tech savvy consumer segment with plenty of income to purchase vehicles,” says Dane Holewinski, director of marketing at Greystripe. “Touch-based, rich media ad campaigns and custom mobile mobile apps will be the biggest trend in automobile marketing for 2011 and 2012.”