Chicago—July 19, 2006—Cars.com announced today the expansion of its dealership training program with the addition of a new training manager, Kathleen Kimmel. Kimmel joins a four-member training department that this year will facilitate more than 350 training seminars to 4,500 franchise and independent dealers.
Kimmel brings 15 years of automotive industry experience to Cars.com, her most recent position serving as manager of a business development center (BDC) for a Mercedes-Benz dealership. With an MBA in organizational leadership, Kimmel also directed training/customer satisfaction programs for 27 AutoNation retail locations. She began her career at DaimlerChrysler, where she worked as a Five-Star Manager and at the district manager level supporting sales and service initiatives.
Said Mitch Golub, president at Cars.com: "Kathleen knows the day-to-day business of selling cars and what it takes to build a successful sales organization. Beginning her career as a concern resolution specialist, she worked her way up through the ranks to manage a BDC and built a record of achievement that speaks to the value she offers dealers who attend our seminars. For example, Kathleen helped raise one dealership's customer satisfaction scores from last place in the country to third. At another, she led her department to contribute 25 percent to 30 percent of the store's monthly sales and spearheaded a fleet program to drive incremental revenue."
"Cars.com impressed me with its commitment to provide ongoing training as an industry resource for franchise and independent dealers vs. a forum to promote its own products and services," Kimmel said. "New and used vehicle leads from Cars.com represent as much as 40 percent of many dealerships' sales. Much of that success stems from the business practices we helped them put into place."
Cars.com's comprehensive dealer training program includes in-market and Web-based training workshops and weekly training calls. Additional resources are available through the MyDealerCenter customer portal and the free dealeradvantage monthly e-newsletter, as well as Cars.com's more than 500 sales professionals and national technical support staff. Cars.com presents training seminars without charge to interested dealerships, regardless of whether they are Cars.com customers. Information on upcoming programs is available by clicking on the "Training" link at http://dealers.cars.com.
"Our programs focus on bottom-line results, helping dealers advertise effectively on the Internet and establish efficient sales processes to work with car shoppers throughout the buying cycle," Golub said. "Whether assisting dealers in how they manage traffic from walk-ins, phone-ups, email or traffic we drive to their websites, these seminars share the proven best practices successful dealers around the country use every day to close more sales."
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 11,000 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 leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).