Dealership MarketingIndustry News & Trends

Are you Feeling a Disturbance in the Force?

I’m feeling a Disturbance in the FORCE — within the Vehicle Classified / Listing website crowd, that is.

The Top Vehicle Listings Websites – Who’s NEXT?

The mammoths in the vehicle (new and/or used) listing/classified website arena here in the states are Cars.com and AutoTrader.com. They have the money, the inventory, OEM support, partnerships and they have built a “BRAND” that most Americans are overly familiar with their products.

Love’m or hate’m – for many they offer the additional exposure of new and used vehicle inventory a dealer needs in order gain more opportunities, turning more inventory each and every month (when worked right).

We have several other strong players that have organically grown (SEO, SEM, Referrals, Partners, and such) in popularity , like CarGurus.com, Usedcars.com, USAA, EveryCarListed.com, CarsDirect.com.

Then you have a few “Brands” that host vehicle listings, but most consumers seek out these websites for vehicle information. These would include KBB.com, CarFax, TrueCars and Edmunds.com.

Let’s not forget about eBay, they sorta play on the same field with Cars.com and ATC, but not really. Either way I believe we can exclude eBay (and Craigslist) from the mix for the sake of this conversation.

There are 100’s of larger and smaller (local) portal websites like Yahoo Autos, AOL Autos across the nation, but let’s agree these are not likely to make any huge out-of-the-box moves.

All of the above mentioned classified websites, in one way or another, do little more than host a dealership’s inventory on their own website and VDP display… for a small fee. Some may do it better than others…

Some have more horse power behind their brand that brings more exposure.
Some allow competitive or stupid ads beside your inventory (we hate that).
Some display exaggerated pricing information, tearing into your gross profit (we really HATE that!)
Some have embraced mobile the right way and some have not.
Some send emails with like inventory to your potential prospects (still not sure why some got pissed about this)
Some do everything BUT remove the lead form from their VDP – so they can CLAIM they drive showroom traffic. (I won’t totally disagree)
And some are just damn right out [email protected]’d UP.

I feel a disturbance coming – a new breed OR a dramatic shift made by an existing listing website that could potentially make such a change that they shake up the industry and provide dealers a very different but valuable solution.

Are you too feeling this Disturbance?

Chime in with what you know, what you think you might know and who do you think it could be?

Could it be one of the existing players or a new service all-together?

Or maybe I hit my head hard enough to cause a disturbance in my brain and nothing is changing at all.

Post below or join the conversation in the forums. If you’re not a member of the DealerRefresh forums, what are you waiting for? Get signed up!