Michael Martinez:

Young people are increasingly buying cars on their smartphones, and have done extensive research before stepping onto dealer lots, a new study says.
 In its third-annual automotive buyer influence study released Tuesday, car-shopping website AutoTrader.com said 95 percent of those in their 20s and early 30s do their car shopping online — and 50 percent use their smartphones, up significantly from previous years. While researching, the would-be buyers visit third-party sites — like AutoTrader,TrueCaror Edmunds — 51 percent of the time, and are going to dealerships less and less.
 These new trends have prompted traditional dealerships and other car-buying websites to invest in mobile technology and hire new workers to keep up with the changing buying patterns.
 “Millennials are driving a lot of that change,” Isabelle Helms, AutoTrader’s vice president of research and market intelligence, said in an interview. “The declines and rises in trends are being led by this generation of car-shoppers.”