AutoConnect.com Selects Doner for Offline Push




Online Auto Retailer Plans Major TV, Radio Campaign for the Fall
DETROIT-Doner has picked up the $15 million account of AutoConnect.com, one of the largest used car Internet shopping sources.
Doner was awarded the business following a review that included other undisclosed agencies.
The Atlanta-based retailer plans to mount a TV and radio campaign from the Southfield, Mich., agency this fall. Print is being considered.
Left Field, San Francisco, remains AutoConnect’s interactive agency.
“The way people are buying cars today is changing rapidly because of the Internet,” said Alan Kalter,
Doner chairman and chief executive officer. “Consumers are redefining the transaction, and AutoConnect understands what buyers are looking for in the used car and truck market and how they want to access information.”
AutoConnect launched in May 1998 and has three key audiences: automotive shoppers, dealers/manufacturers and advertisers. The company’s Web site links visitors to an inventory of more than 800,000 used cars and trucks and a national network of more than 32,000 dealers. Other resources at AutoConnect.com include automotive reviews and information on warranties and insurance.
Advertisers include all of the major automakers as well as companies in auto-related businesses. Monthly traffic tops 1.5 million visitors, and has been rising nearly 35 percent a month, according to the company. Competitors include Autobytel and AutoWeb.
The company recently entered into a partnership with America Online. When subscribers to that service enter keyword “used car,” they are linked to a page with an AutoConnect banner and hyperlink.
AutoConnect is a joint venture of Manheim Auctions, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, and the Dealer Services Group of Automatic Data Processing. -with Jane Irene Kelly