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Press Release

Cars.com Inc. Launches FUEL™ In-Market Video to Help the Automotive Industry Better Target Ready-to-Buy Car Shoppers and Eliminate Up to 95% of TV Advertising Waste

- February 11, 2020

New digital video solution delivers relevant ads to local in-market shoppers on their device of choice leveraging Cars.com’s unmatched, pure first-party audience data

 CHICAGO – Leading automotive digital solutions provider Cars.com Inc. (NYSE: CARS) announced today the launch of FUEL™ In-Market Video (FUEL IMV), an innovative digital video solution focused on the $9.7 billion spent on TV advertising by the U.S. auto market.1 The new solution helps dealers, original equipment manufacturers and regional/dealer ad associations pinpoint serious ready-to-buy shoppers and combat the high costs and inefficiencies of selling in a crowded, fragmented media industry. FUEL IMV will be launched at the 2020 National Automobile Dealers Association Show in Las Vegas from Feb. 14-17.

More than 50 percent of U.S. automotive advertising spend goes to traditional, untargeted TV — well above the global industry average across all categories2 — even though consumers are spending more time on mobile devices than on traditional TV consuming content from a variety of social platforms and streaming apps.3 Furthermore, less than 5 percent of households in a local market are serious about buying a new or used vehicle, so finding them requires more data-driven science to succeed.4

“The opportunity to leverage data and science to drive sales more efficiently is here,” said Alex Vetter, chief executive officer of CARS, whose brands include Cars.com, Dealer Inspire and DealerRater. “We are in an era of opportunity where dealers and OEMs can take advantage of the most pure, comprehensive in-market car-shopper data, intelligent solutions and advanced technology platforms to drive some of the most efficient and effective advertising this industry has ever seen. CARS is committed to delivering connected technology solutions like FUEL IMV to attack inefficiencies for automotive advertisers and fuel sales and dealer profits.”

FUEL IMV gives OEMs and dealers the opportunity to harness the untapped power of digital video — which is predicted to increase at a rate of 19 percent to $4.8 billion in the automotive space by 20235 — by leveraging Cars.com’s 23 million monthly shoppers, 82 percent of whom are in-market to buy.6

“TV advertising is dated and inefficient compared to where users spend their time” said Dean Evans, executive vice president of CARS. “Automotive advertisers relying on linear TV to generate traffic are wasting money by directing 95% of their spend towards those not in the market to buy a car, and therefore not getting the returns they deserve. FUEL IMV is the antidote to smarter automotive marketing that could eliminate the massive waste while yielding the same or better results.”

A recent FUEL IMV pilot revealed positive outcomes for a Hyundai dealership in the Atlanta metro area. During the test, the dealership saw a 153 percent increase in new users on its website, a 31 percent increase in organic traffic and a 180 percent increase in referral traffic from social media as a result of the new digital video campaign.7

Key features of FUEL IMV include:

  • Unmatched, pure in-market audience data: Exclusive access to com’s valuable audience, which is the industry’s most sophisticated and comprehensive view of ready-to-buy shoppers. More than 70 percent of the company’s steadily growing traffic is organic.8
  • Interactive channels: Providing shoppers the ability to click for more information or connect online with dealerships, something traditional TV cannot do.
  • Competitive advantage: Dealers can claim their preferred ZIP codes, giving them access to data about households currently shopping for vehicles.
  • Custom campaign builder: Offers dealers access to a library of creative ad campaigns and the ability to customize them to a dealer’s branding and special offers.
  • Artificial intelligence: Built in AI to respond to viewers, collect customer information and provide personalized offers.
  • Comprehensive integration: Ability to sync across all CARS properties, delivering a connected experience across a dealership’s entire digital portfolio to guide shoppers through the buying process.
  • Connected reporting: Metrics flow directly into the new Dealer Inspire reporting platform PRIZM™ (also being debuted at NADA), enabling dealers to see at a glance the effectiveness of each advertising dollar spent.

To learn more about CARS integrated solutions, visit GrowWithCars.com or visit the Cars.com-Dealer Inspire-DealerRater booth #3577C in the Las Vegas Convention Center during the 2020 NADA Show.

ABOUT CARS.COM

Cars.com is a leading digital marketplace and solutions provider for the automotive industry that connects car shoppers with sellers. Launched in 1998 and headquartered in Chicago, the Company empowers shoppers with the data, resources and digital tools needed to make informed buying decisions and seamlessly connect with automotive retailers. In a rapidly changing market, Cars.com enables dealerships and OEMs with innovative technical solutions and data-driven intelligence to better reach and influence ready-to-buy shoppers, increase inventory turn and gain market share. In 2018, Cars.com acquired Dealer Inspire®, an innovative technology company building solutions that future-proof dealerships with more efficient operations, a faster and easier car buying process, and connected digital experiences that sell and service more vehicles.

Cars.com properties include DealerRater®, Dealer Inspire®, Auto.com™, PickupTrucks.com® and NewCars.com®. For more information, visit www.Cars.com.

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1Zenith Media, Global Intelligence “Automotive Adspend Forecasts 2019”

2 Zenith Media, Global Intelligence “Automotive Adspend Forecasts 2019”

3Los Angeles Times, eMarketer & Nielsen, “People Spend More Time on Mobile Devices Than TV”, June 5, 2019

4Estimate based on Cars.com Avg. Internal Traffic Data, 2019

5Borrell’s 2018 Outlook “Automotive Advertising Takes a Sharp Turn”

6Cars.com Internal Data, Q3 2019

7Cars.com pilot Jan 14-31, 2020, compared to Dec. 27, 2019-Jan 13, 2020

About Cars.com

Cars.com is a leading digital marketplace and solutions provider for the automotive industry that connects car shoppers with sellers. Launched in 1998 and headquartered in Chicago, the Company empowers shoppers with the data, resources and digital tools needed to make informed buying decisions andseamlessly connect with automotive retailers. In a rapidly changing market, Cars.com enables dealerships and OEMs with innovative technical solutions and data-driven intelligence to better reach and influence ready-to-buy shoppers, increase inventory turn and gain market share. In 2018, Cars.com acquired Dealer Inspire®, an innovative technology company building solutions that future-proof dealerships with more efficient operations, a faster and easier car buying process, and connected digital experiences that sell and service more vehicles.

Cars.com properties include DealerRater®,Dealer Inspire®, Auto.com™, PickupTrucks.com® and NewCars.com®. For more information, visit www.Cars.com.