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Google Announces New Vehicle Ad Platform at NADA Show 2022

Published March 11, 2022


Sheryll Poe, Profile Picture, 175x175

Sheryll Poe


The future of auto retail is digital, and thanks to Google that future is accelerating in a major way.
Google, a platinum sponsor of the NADA Show Live Stage, announced on Friday that it was releasing a new ad format on Search–Google Vehicle Ads–to help drive auto sales.

Stephanie Shum, Google’s Director of Product Management, Retail & Vertical Ads, explained the new platform. Dealers can now put their inventory online, allowing buyers to see the vehicles available at dealerships near them. During pilot testing, one-quarter of the dealers who combined their existing Search campaigns with Vehicle Ads saw a 25% average increase in conversions, Shum said.

One of those beta testers was Asbury Automotive Group, the fourth-largest auto retailer in world. Miran Maric, CMO & SVP of Strategy and Innovation at Asbury, noted that his company saw a 35% increase in conversions that led to sales. “It was much better search performance than Google Ads,” Maric noted. “It’s a great way, for a low cost, to get a great conversion.”

Before the announcement, Lissette Gole, Head of Industry, Automotive Retail at Google, sat down for a one-on-one chat with Maric to discuss how technology is helping auto retailers build a digital ecosystem that puts customers first.

The shift to digital was already happening before COVID-19, but the pandemic accelerated customer adoption, Gole said. “The last two years accelerated trends we had already seen,” she said, noting that in 2018, only 1% of new car buyers purchased their vehicles completely online. That number jumped to 16% in 2021. “From 1% to 16% in three years is a phenomenal statistic,” Gole said.

Maric pointed out that NADA Show attendees only had to look at the Expo floor to see where the future of auto retailing is headed. Of the 200-plus vendors at the Expo, 65 are in the digital retail space.

Asbury started investing in its online car-buying and selling platform, Clicklane, five years ago. Last year, every used car sold by Asbury was sold completely online, he said. “That’s where the guest experience is going,” he said.

Don’t miss any of the action! Watch more of Maric and Gole’s session in the video below.