How long do e-mailed leads stay hot enough to hammer into sales during customers’ vehicle shopping? That question was posed to auto executives at the European Networking Group’s recent 2004 automotive CRM (customer relationship management) conference in Los Angeles. A study finds the average online vehicle-shopping cycle is about 50 days. The responses ranged from 90 days (according to American Honda Motor Corp. and Daimler Chrysler AG) to 180 days (Saab Cars USA and Ford Motor Co.). ...

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