Chicago—April 6, 2006—Car searches on Cars.com hit a record high in March, according to the most recent Consumer Search Index report. The search activity was driven by a record number of unique visitors to the site during the month, which exceeded 8.3 million.*
Cars.com's new national television advertising campaign, which launched in the beginning of March, contributed to the rise in site traffic. The new commercials can be seen on ESPN and other top-rated cable networks, and are driving buyers to Cars.com to complete the research process.
In addition to the record traffic numbers, several new car models unveiled by manufacturers at recent auto shows, along with the intense marketing efforts that typically accompany the launch, have generated significant consumer interest on Cars.com. The Dodge Caliber topped the list of largest month-over-month increases for new vehicles, followed closely by the Toyota FJ Cruiser, Saturn Sky and Hyundai Azera.
"As the major market auto show season nears an end, it seems that we have some clear winners among consumers as far as new vehicle introductions are concerned," said Joe Wiesenfelder, Cars.com senior editor. "It will be interesting to see if consumer interest in these vehicles is sustained into the second and third quarters."
The Cars.com Consumer Search Index offers a comprehensive look at the internet search behavior of Cars.com visitors. The statistical information is compiled by tracking the more than 8.3 million unique visitors that log on to Cars.com each month and the vehicles that are most popular. The lists are based off a minimum of 4,000 searches for any given vehicle. Dealer inquiries measure the volume of emails consumers send to dealers seeking information about a particular vehicle. The information is supported by expert analysis from the Cars.com editorial staff. More statistical information to support automotive-related stories is available upon request. Please contact Steve Nolan directly at 312-601-5163.
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 1.5 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.
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).
* Search numbers are based off internal reporting.