Chicago—July 7, 2005—Cars.com, the fastest growing online automotive marketplace, today announced that it has acquired NewCars.com, a leader in automotive sales lead generation. The acquisition expands Cars.com's presence in the new car market and enables the company to expand its dealer-advertising offering. Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, a strategic joint venture owned by six leading media companies. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
NewCars.com is one of the industry's largest generators of new car automotive purchase requests, and derives prospects from Search Engine Marketing initiatives across name-brand search engines. By using its proprietary key word management and bidding system, NewCars.com targets true vehicle intenders and effectively drives these shoppers from search to sale by connecting them with dealers.
"The acquisition of NewCars.com further extends our automotive leadership and uniquely positions Cars.com to help dealerships drive business across their entire inventory -- new and used," said Mitch Golub, president of Cars.com. "Our dealership partners have come to depend on Cars.com for innovative advertising solutions that deliver quality traffic as well as unprecedented levels of service and support. As we go to market with a new car leads product, dealerships can expect to receive the highest quality of new car prospects available along with the superior service they expect from the Cars.com brand."
Already a leader in subscription-based, used car advertising packages, the Cars.com acquisition of NewCars.com provides the company with the necessary infrastructure to efficiently generate and distribute high-quality new car sales prospects to its dealer customers. As a result of the transaction, automotive dealerships will be able to turn to a single online marketing partner to drive sales of both used and new vehicles.
"As we set out to deliver a more robust new car offering for our valued customers, it was essential to develop a product that would deliver unique, quality prospects," said Golub. "Because we know that search has become a key part of the shopping process and the first place many in-market consumers go when they are looking for their next vehicle, we chose to acquire the definitive leader in automotive search management to complement our existing strength as a consumer destination. By integrating the NewCars.com search management system and lead distribution platform into our business, we are confident we will provide a new level of quality and service in the industry for new car leads."
The acquisition was backed by the joint partners of Classified Ventures, positioning their local classified businesses to capitalize on current trends in online automotive advertising. "Our acquisition of NewCars.com and an expanded new car offering further extends the local classified leadership of our media partners. In addition to premium print solutions and niche publications, they will now be able to offer a complete online marketplace and product suite to automotive advertisers," said Daniel Jauernig, president and chief executive officer, Classified Ventures.
NewCars.com will operate as a division of Classified Ventures and will maintain its headquarters in Santa Monica, California and offices in Birmingham, MI.
"NewCars.com has developed leading technology which has enabled our company to efficiently generate and distribute high quality sales prospects, monitor the quality of each and every lead and ensure timely delivery of leads to the market. We are excited to join forces with Cars.com to bring our solutions to the company's robust network of automotive dealerships," said Martin Schmitt, president and chief executive officer of NewCars.com.
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 lists more than 1.4 million vehicles from 10,000 dealer customers, classified advertisers and private-parties 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 car shoppers connect with sellers each month. Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, (http://classifiedventures.com) which is owned by six leading media companies.
Founded in 1996, NewCars.com is an industry leading automotive new car sales lead generator and distributor. Using its proprietary automotive search management system and leading lead distribution platform, NewCars.com efficiently drives millions of in-market shoppers from the vehicle search process to sale, connecting interested buyers to its customer network of OEMs, industry wholesalers and directly to its network of local dealer customers.
Classified Ventures is a strategic joint venture among six media companies, including Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Knight Ridder Inc. (NYSE: KRI), The McClatchy Co. (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Co. (NYSE: TRB) and The Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO), whose objectives are to collectively capitalize on the revenue growth in the online advertising categories of automotive, real estate, and rentals. To execute on its objectives, Classified Ventures has created three leading businesses -- Cars.com, Homescape, and Apartments.com. Last week, the company extended its real estate vertical with the acquisition of HomeGain, a leader in online real estate marketing industry.