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CGI Photos for New Cars - Really?


Green Pea
Sep 13, 2010
First Name
The Senior Vice President of vAuto said, “listings with stock photos receive 365 percent less attention than those with actual photos.”

If I were a dealership, I would be in the business of finding out, what about a picture makes a shopper perceive it as “Actual”.

Improving your photography will always lead to better results. However, shoppers are not looking for aesthetically perfect pictures, they are merely trying to see their next car online.

Shy of perfection, is what “actual” is.
Stock photos are... perfect.

McDonalds has perfect professional pictures taken of a BigMac that no one will ever eat and then they sell a billion BigMacs that look nothing like the photo.

We are not in that business. We are in the business of taking professional photos of one very specific vehicle with the intention of one very specific person finding it online, seeing its value, coming to your dealership and buying it. 1 car and 1 driver... times 200, 400 etc

Car manufacturers build cars for the groups of people they study. They build cars for stereotypes. They design a lineup to accommodate as many tax brackets as possible. They tweak their designs to accommodate generations as they live through the stages of their lives and hopefully graduate to bigger and better cars as they go.

It is easy to fall into the trap of valuing each vehicle as just another copy, another silver sedan in a sea of silver sedans. But to the new owner of every one of those cars, it’s their “baby”(at least until they pay their first payment.

Anything short of actual photos of the actual car, will not do.
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Reactions: wmrcs and rickyfay
Nov 21, 2012
First Name
Why are OEMs pushing dealers to quit taking real photos of their new vehicles and instead sign up for co-op supported fake CGI photos that fall somewhere between the quality of a stock image and a real photo?

Customers are shopping online more than ever, is now really the time to provide a worse consumer experience?

Most CGI "photo" companies only offer 15 photos per vehicle, with a measly 5 photos of the interior. Are 5 fake interior photos enough for consumers buying a $70k truck?

I totally get that CGI photos require no effort to manage and are live the day the vehicle arrives on the lot, but does that really justify making the switch?

If this technology existed 10 years ago when dealers sucked at taking photos, it would have been awesome. But it's 2020, and customers expect more of us.

View attachment 5134

Real Photos are Better :)


Dec 9, 2020
First Name
Another reason not to use CGI photos? :rofl: #nowheels

View attachment 5157
CDJR does not have the digital assets for Challenger Widebody kits. When they load in on their brand apps, they load in without front and rear facias. Extremely unsettling.

Per the actual topic. We use stock photos as placeholders for new arrivals until we have time to take our real photos. I feel like that is the only appropriate use of the CGI photos.
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