Chicago—March 31, 2008—Cars.com (www.cars.com) announced today that it was selected by dealers as the top-ranked third-party, new-vehicle internet lead provider in Auto Dealer Monthly's 2008 Dealers' Choice Awards. Dealers also ranked Cars.com among the top used-vehicle internet lead providers. This is the fourth year of the awards, which recognize the industry's top product and service providers. Dealers and their personnel are asked to rate providers of products and services based on the quality of the product or service, the customer service and support and the overall value for the dollars spent.
"Cars.com offers dealers a comprehensive suite of services to market both new and used vehicles online and to drive quality traffic to their stores," said Dennis Galbraith, Cars.com vice president of advertising products. "Cars.com is delighted to be recognized by our customers for superior quality, value and customer support."
Previously unrecognized as a service for driving new-car sales, Galbraith attributes Cars.com's top ranking to the significant investment the company has made to develop a comprehensive suite of new-car marketing services. With its OnlineAdPackage, Cars.com now puts dealers' new-car inventory in front of millions of shoppers every month on its website and through partner sites such as Yahoo! Autos. Nearly 80 percent of Cars.com's franchise customers now include new vehicles in their online listings, and the site boasts more than 1.4 million new vehicles.
With new tools that give shoppers the choice between configuration and inventory search, Cars.com is better exposing new vehicles to its audience of in-market shoppers and making it easier than ever for them to connect with a new car and a dealer with whom to do business. Combined with new offerings such as NewCarSpecials and new-car PowerPositions that call special attention to a dealership's new vehicles, and help dealerships brand their stores in front of an audience of in-market shoppers, these efforts are driving more qualified new-car buyers to Cars.com customers in the form of email leads, phone leads, website referrals and walk-in traffic.
In addition to inventory-based new-car advertising services, Cars.com also generates new-car leads for dealers with NewLeadsPlus. Originating from consumer quote requests, these leads come from high-quality sources, including leading search engines where nearly 90 percent of new-car searches begin, and top automotive websites such as Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com and Yahoo! Autos. Dealers have been quick to adopt NewLeadsPlus as a way to drive additional new car traffic. Since 2006, the number of dealers using the service has increased 185 percent.
Internet sales director Matt Lamoureux of Acton Toyota Scion is one of the many dealers who have adopted NewLeadsPlus. "Given the quality and value of this product, it's easy to see why Cars.com was ranked at the top of this year's Dealers' Choice Awards," said Lamoureux. "We receive excellent value from Cars.com and NewLeadsPlus. Where else will you find third-party, new-vehicle leads that close at 18 percent and cost a mere $115 per sale?"
"In a challenging new-car market, we are excited to offer dealers a full suite of innovative products they can use to win more new-car sales," said Galbraith. "At a time when other services are stagnating, Cars.com continues to grow and to set ourselves apart from other providers. The acceptance we're seeing with dealers for our new-car offering demonstrates that even in a crowded market, there is always room for a high-quality offering."
Cars.com is the leading destination for online car shoppers, offering credible, easy-to-understand information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. With comprehensive pricing information, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and a large selection of new- and used-car inventory, Cars.com puts millions of site visitors in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions.
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 and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).
About Auto Dealer Monthly (www.AutoDealerMonthly.com)
Auto Dealer Monthly is the day-to-day resource for automotive dealerships of all sizes. It is known for offering business solutions to dealers by providing information necessary to make wise decisions regarding products, services or process changes in daily operations. The educational and informative foundation is built on the understanding that no single product, service or process is ideal for every franchise or independent dealership. Auto Dealer Monthly provides timely features that matter to today's automotive executives, along with a wide variety of expert viewpoints and dealer success stories.