Chicago—April 10, 2007—Marking the release of the seventh annual Ward's e-Dealer 100, Cars.com announces a free webinar for dealers, "The Secrets of Their Success: Tips from the Ward's e-Dealer 100." Attendees will learn about the internet sales strategies and processes of top-ranked dealers in this year's special report, which recognizes top online sales generators. Cliff Banks, Ward's editorial director, will moderate the online panel discussion at noon EDT on April 13. Several Cars.com dealers ranked in this year's e-Dealer 100 will discuss strategies behind their online success, steps they take to close online sales and tactics for tracking and measuring internet-generated sales.
Each year, Ward's Dealer Business publishes its special e-Dealer 100 report to recognize top-performing dealerships and review successful online sales and marketing techniques. Combined annual sales from the dealers' internet initiatives have more than tripled to more than 178,000 vehicles since the magazine launched the e-Dealer 100 in 2001.
Of the 100 dealers recognized in this year's report, 89 advertise with Cars.com; three-fourths of those use multiple offerings from Cars.com to drive performance. According to Cars.com president Mitch Golub, dealers are looking for new ways to stand out online and are turning to sites like Cars.com for services that can help them gain a competitive advantage online and drive more ready-to-buy shoppers to their stores.
"Internet listings and lead generation are now a mainstay of any successful online sales program," Golub said. "We are seeing a trend of dealers wanting to do more online, and looking to services such as ours for the next thing to help them engage online shoppers. Last year alone, Cars.com launched five new advertising products to meet this need, including used car specials, an offering that allows dealers to promote their specials and feature specific cars from their inventory."
At Acton Toyota-Scion, Matt Lamoureux credits the Boston-area store's No. 40 position on the e-Dealer ranking to its multi-prong internet strategy. He said that in addition to advertising his inventory on Cars.com, he purchases new-car leads, includes multiple pictures with each listing and promotes used-car specials.
"You have to try new and innovative ways to differentiate yourself from the competition," Lamoureux said. "Fully merchandising each vehicle tells the car shopper we're professionals, we know what we're doing. It's about building trust with the customers before they get here."
"With the ranking of this year's top e-Dealers, it is an excellent time to review trends in today's market and the practices that are driving success online," said Cliff Banks of Ward's Dealer Business. "We are excited to work with Cars.com to bring dealers tips from some of the most successful dealers online."
"The Secrets of Their Success: Tips from the Ward's e-Dealer 100" is part of Cars.coms free monthly webinar series, DealerADvantage LIVE, which aims to bring dealers information they can use to improve their business operations and online practices. Dealers interested in attending the "The Secrets of Their Success" webinar can register by visiting the Cars.com DealerCenter at http://dealers.cars.com/live. They also can access archived recordings of previous DealerADvantage LIVE sessions and enroll for upcoming events.
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 2 million vehicles from 13,000 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).
Ward's Dealer Business (www.wardsauto.com) offers useful, hands-on information to help new-car dealership executives operate their businesses at peak efficiency and profitability. Ward's Dealer Business provides "best practice" solutions in the form of successful dealer profiles, suggestions and tips from leading industry consultants, and exposure to new products and services for dealership operations.