Google Automatically Upgrading Vehicle Ads To Performance Max

Google has announced a shift in its vehicle marketing strategy to better serve the transition of car shopping to the digital space.

Google says consumers are increasingly starting their car-shopping process online, with 79% of recent new car buyers using a search engine as part of their purchasing journey.

Potential car buyers consult an average of six websites while researching before purchasing.

Google introduced vehicle ads in Search last year, allowing car dealers to display their vehicle inventory to prospective buyers directly on Google.

In September, Google will automatically transition vehicle ad campaigns made through Smart Shopping campaigns to its new Performance Max product.

This change will allow automotive advertisers to connect with customers across more touchpoints, including YouTube, Display, Gmail, and Discover.

Everything related to the campaigns – including settings, structure, audience data, product feeds, and creative assets – will be moved to the new platform.

Performance Max: Benefits and Features

The upgrade to Performance Max has three main benefits for automotive advertisers:

  • Expanding Customer Reach: Performance Max opens new placements and ad inventory. It utilizes audience signals to understand advertisers’ most valuable audiences better.
  • Increasing Conversions: Performance Max lets you optimize online and offline conversions within one campaign.
  • Providing Valuable Insights: The Insights page for Performance Max offers new data about your audience and current search trends.

The Upgrade Process

Upgrading vehicle ads from Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max is automatic.

There’s no self-upgrade tool that allows you to do it manually.

You can pause old Smart Shopping campaigns, create new Performance Max campaigns, or wait for the auto-upgrade.

Next Steps

After the upgrade, Google suggests including more creative materials like text, pictures, and videos. This will allow the ads to be displayed across more ad inventory.

You can also provide more information about your target audience, which will help Google’s machine learning algorithms optimize faster.

Featured Image: Screenshot from, August 2023.