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Experian Study Shows Cars.com Shoppers are Ready to Buy

More Than 61 Percent of Lead Senders Convert to Vehicle Sales

Cars.com today announced that a new study from Experian Automotive shows more than 61 percent of shoppers who contacted a seller on Cars.com ultimately purchased a vehicle. Of those buyers, 79 percent purchased within 90 days. The study analyzed a sample of 1 million phone calls and email leads from Cars.com shoppers to dealerships advertising on the site over a one-year period between September 2004 and August 2005.

"In addition to building one of the largest audiences of active car shoppers anywhere, our focus on quality is clearly reflected by this study," said Mitch Golub, president of Cars.com. "Whether it's through our $100 million investment in advertising and promotion, or our powerful partnership network, we're committed to bringing quality, in-market car shoppers to our listings, and ultimately to our dealer partners. By providing our visitors with industry-leading vehicle search functionality, more than 1.4 million vehicle listings and the resources they need to support their buying decision, we turn shoppers into buyers."

Unlike other mediums, which simply deliver a big audience, Cars.com offers advertisers actively engaged shoppers who come to the site specifically looking to buy or sell a car. Those who reach out to the dealership via phone or email are low in the purchase funnel and take action quickly. According to Experian, as many as 41 percent of all Cars.com phone and email lead senders purchased a vehicle within 30 days of their inquiry.

"As dealerships move more of their advertising online, they are choosing partners that deliver the highest quality shoppers and that have the greatest impact on their bottom line," Golub said. "We are proud to be a premier choice, and will continue our commitment to quality across several new online products we will launch at the National Automobile Dealers Association's 89th Annual Convention and Exposition in Orlando."

Recognized as a top site for automotive research and vehicle search, Cars.com continues to grow its quality audience at a record pace. More than 7.5 million unique visits came to the site in January, an all-time high. Together with its partners, Cars.com reaches 65 percent of all online used car shoppers, more than any other source.

Experian Automotive's Auto Leads AnalysisSM service matches leads submitted by consumers on websites such as Cars.com against Experian's National Vehicle Database, which houses registration and title data on more than 500 million vehicles. The service helps automotive marketers measure online investments based on actual vehicle buy-rates and provides statistical insight on consumer purchase behavior in the areas of competitive shopping and purchase timing.

About Cars.com

Partnered with more than 200 leading metro newspapers, television stations and their websites, 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. Recently selected by Forbes.com as a Best of the Web site for car shopping, 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.

About Classified Ventures

Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, 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).

About Experian Automotive

Experian Automotive delivers information solutions to manufacturers, dealers, finance and insurance companies, and consumers. Experian helps automotive clients increase customer loyalty, target and win new business, and make better lending and vehicle purchase decisions. Its National Vehicle Database, housing more than 500 million vehicles, along with Experian's credit, consumer and business information assets, meets the industry's growing demand for an integrated information source. Experian's advanced decision support services help clients turn this information into improved business results. Experian technology supports several top automotive websites including eBay Motors, Yahoo! Autos, CarsDirect.com, NADAguides.com and Cars.com. For more information on Experian Automotive and its suite of solutions, visit www.experianautomotive.com.

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Michael Kraut
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mkraut@cars.com


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Vice President of Operations

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