Chicago—February 15, 2005—
Cars.com, the fastest growing online automotive marketplace, reached an all time high of 6.3 million unique visitors in January, up 47 percent over January 2004 and 21 percent over December 2004, according to internal site usage statistics. In the same year-over-year time frame, searches for new and used vehicles nearly doubled on the site, and visitors contacted sellers in record force, generating more than two million contacts to Cars.com advertisers.(1)
This high growth trend is confirmed by comScore Media Metrix, the industry-leading Internet audience measurement service that reports details of online media usage. According to Media Metrix (Custom Reporting), Cars.com traffic increased 45 percent over January 2004 and 29 percent over December 2004.(2) The growth is significant when viewed alongside the Automotive Resource Category, which remained flat year over year.(3)
Cars.com reaches consumers through a unique combination of local promotion, national advertising and aggressive online marketing. The site is partnered with more than 200 leading newspapers, television stations and their Web sites that continually promote Cars.com in their local markets and media properties. This unmatched local promotion is backed by advertising on top national cable networks, including unique sponsorships on ESPN, Discovery and TLC. Cars.com's consistent advertising on popular search engines such as Yahoo! and Google has also fueled traffic growth, as have Cars.com's exclusive online partnerships with Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com, MSN Autos, MSNBC.com and USATODAY.com, which allow Cars.com advertisers to reach two out of three online used car shoppers.
"Growth in the Cars.com customer base has also been dramatic, as automotive advertisers recognize Cars.com reaches buyers they can't get from any other single online advertising source. In fact, 74 percent of our visitors do not visit our largest competitor," said Golub.(4) "Through our exclusive online partnerships, and our unique national and local marketing model, Cars.com is able to attract a quality audience of ready-to-buy shoppers and convert them into buyers."
Cars.com will continue to support dynamic growth of the online automotive marketplace in 2005 with continued plans for integrated marketing on top-rated cable networks, leading search engines and online destinations, as well as extensive promotion across its network of over 200 leading local newspapers, TV stations and their Web sites.
Partnered with more than 200 leading metro newspapers, television stations and their Web sites, Cars.com is the most comprehensive destination for those looking to buy or sell a new or used car. The site places more than 1.4 million vehicle listings from 10,000 dealer customers, classified advertisers and private-party listings to offer consumers the best selection of new and used cars online, as well as the content, tools and advice to support their shopping experience. Cars.com combines powerful inventory search tools and new-car configuration with pricing information, photo galleries, buying guides, side-by-side comparison tools, original editorial content and reviews to help millions of consumers connect with sellers each month.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, (http://classifiedventures.com), which is owned by six leading media companies including, Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Knight Ridder (NYSE: KRI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) and The Washington Post Company. (NYSE: WPO).
comScore Media Metrix, a division of comScore Networks, provides industry-leading Internet audience measurement services that report - with unmatched accuracy - details of online media usage, visitor demographics and online buying power for the home, work and university audiences across local U.S. markets and across the globe. comScore Media Metrix continues the tradition of quality and innovation established by its Media Metrix syndicated Internet ratings - long recognized as the currency in online media measurement among financial analysts, advertising agencies, publishers and marketers - while drawing upon comScore's advanced technologies to address important new industry requirements. All comScore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies.