AutoTrader.com Agrees to Acquire VinSolutions
ATLANTA and OVERLAND PARK, Kan., May 18, 2011 – AutoTrader.com has signed a definitive agreement to purchase VinSolutions, a leading provider of end-to-end solution platforms for dealers including Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Internet Lead Management (ILM), inventory management tools, dealer websites, sales management and desking tools, social media and direct targeted marketing campaign tools. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close by mid-June.
VinSolutions will operate as a subsidiary of AutoTrader.com, and the two companies will collaborate on methods of infusing value into both companies and all of their customers, which will primarily be in the areas of product development, operations and sales.
“We are thrilled to acquire VinSolutions and add it to our best-in-class portfolio of dealer software solutions companies,” said AutoTrader.com President and CEO Chip Perry. “Over the last few years, the online marketing and dealer software solutions space has continued to grow and thrive which has been important to dealers’ success, but at the same time it has become increasingly challenging and cumbersome. VinSolutions will further ramp up our dealer solutions product suite to provide dealers with a simpler, more functional one-stop-shop solution of Internet marketing software tools accessible by the dealer through a single sign-on tool.”
“VinSolutions is a strong complement to our existing dealer software companies, and a priority for us will be to ensure the scalability of VinSolutions software & customer support, and to execute on plans for how VinSolutions will integrate with vAuto, HomeNet and CDMdata to create an even more powerful suite of Internet marketing and sales related software solutions for dealers,” Perry added.
“Our team is very excited to join forces with AutoTrader.com because we are both passionate about helping dealers use the internet and innovative technology to grow their business,” said Mike Dullea, CEO of VinSolutions.com. “Together we will strive to constantly improve how we serve our dealers and how we help them attract, serve and retain their customers.”
Because AutoTrader.com and VinSolutions are both committed to the interests of all auto dealers, its software tools will be offered on a flexible a-la-carte and no long-term contract basis, and dealers’ will have the flexibility to work with their other software vendors. This is consistent with AutoTrader.com’s consultative sales approach to help dealers succeed. A further priority for AutoTrader.com will be to work to promote open platforms and integration across its software solutions and other dealer software tools. We also will establish policies that provide dealer-friendly data ownership rights to protect dealers’ confidential customer data.
“I am a big believer in VinSolutions’ value proposition for the industry,” said Dale Pollak, Founder of vAuto. “VinSolutions is serious about providing dealers with tools that enable them to manage their business effectively and successfully, and this acquisition demonstrates that AutoTrader.com is committed to investing in the dealer software solutions business to benefit customers and the industry as a whole.”
Consistent with AutoTrader.com’s approach to other acquisitions over the past year, VinSolutions will maintain its current management team led by CEO Mike Dullea and CTO Matt Watson who will continue to help propel the company’s growth in the future. VinSolutions will maintain its headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas.
The Presidio Group, LLC, through its subsidiary Presidio Merchant Partners LLC, acted as exclusive financial advisor to VinSolutions.
Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com, created in 1997, is the Internet’s ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers and is a leading online resource for auto dealers, individuals and manufacturers to advertise and market their vehicles to in-market shoppers. The company also provides a robust suite of software tools for dealers and manufacturers to help them manage and market their vehicle inventory and display advertising on the Internet. AutoTrader.com continues to grow key business metrics, including revenue, profitability and site traffic. Today, AutoTrader.com attracts more than 15 million unique monthly visitors who utilize the site to review descriptions, photos and videos of vehicles for sale; research and compare vehicles; review pricing and specials; and read auto-related content like buying and selling tips and editorial coverage of major auto shows and automotive trends. AutoTrader.com operates two other auto marketing brands, AutoTraderClassics.com and AutoTraderLatino.com. AutoTrader.com also owns used vehicle management software company vAuto, Kelley Blue Book (Kbb.com) and HomeNet Automotive, a leading provider of online inventory management and merchandising solutions for the automotive retail industry. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.
VinSolutions has the leading “Dealership Marketing System” that helps retailers attract, sell and retain more customers profitably. VinSolutions.com was recognized as the 33rd fastest growing software company on the Inc 500 and the company has received multiple accolades in the industry including the Automotive Website Award for best digital marketing platform and the Driving Sales Innovation Cup. VinSolutions “all-in-one” sales and service marketing system includes digital marketing, search marketing, online advertising, social media marketing tools, mobile marketing, websites, internet lead management, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Sales force automation, Sales Management and Desking, Appraisal, Finance, Used Vehicle Marketing and Market Pricing, Inventory Management and Distribution, Hand held inventory marketing tools, window stickers, automated video tours, Loyalty Management and Targeted marketing with email, text, direct mail and telemarketing services. The “Dealership Marketing System” has complete mobile integration and is accessible from any mobile phone that has access to the internet including blackberry, Google DROID and iPhone. VinSolutions Dealership Marketing System is installed by their strategic consulting team who specializes in retail strategy and process training for large dealer groups and individual dealerships. VinSolutions is certified by Honda, Acura, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Subaru, Nissan, Infiniti, Mazda, Saab, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Volvo, Hyundai and Audi and integrates with most DMS companies including ADP, R&R, AutoSoft and Arkona. VinSolutions also has alliances and integrations with Kelley Blue Book, CarFax, Autodata, RouteOne and DealerTrack. For more information visit www.VinSolutions.com.