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AutoConnect: World's Largest Pre-owned Automotive Site Makes Its Debut on Web Today

With hundreds of thousands of pre-owned vehicles, complete information on buying or selling, free listings for sellers, and more, AutoConnect aims to lead $365 billion market

The world's largest pre-owned automotive site debuts today on the World Wide Web.

When AutoConnect (autoconnect.com) opens for business today, it becomes the only dedicated Internet automotive site of national scope to offer classified advertising services free of charge to the buyer and the car seller. Because the site provides free classified ads to all dealers and private parties across America, AutoConnect's enormous inventory of pre-owned vehicles will help prospective car buyers find the car they are searching for more quickly and conveniently.

"AutoConnect's goal is to empower car shoppers by providing them with the widest selection of pre-owned vehicles, along with all the information they need to make an informed car buying decision," said Chip Perry, president and CEO of AutoConnect. "We believe both car buyers and sellers will benefit from AutoConnect's broad array of interactive features and content."

Streamlining the Process, Personalized Service

With its wealth of automotive content and services, AutoConnect streamlines and improves the way consumers currently shop for a pre-owned car. Research shows that the traditional car shopping process involves visiting on average 5.3 sellers and consulting 4 different data sources (from magazines, print advertising, friends and car mechanics.) The new site enables car shoppers to conduct a custom search to find the exact car and a wide range of relevant information that help them make informed decisions on the purchase of their next car - from research and car selection to locating the car and e-mailing the dealer or private party about their interest in it. It also includes an online feature that helps buyers narrow the universe of available cars to find the one that's right for their particular needs.

The AutoConnect site offers the most comprehensive information available on pre-owned cars to help consumers make an informed purchase decision. This information resource includes individual and vehicle model comparisons; credible third-party reviews from a variety of sources including Consumers' Digest; safety information; Kelley Blue Book values; financing rates; insurance quotes; warranty information, and experienced commentators like Jack Gillis or Lesley Hazelton. In addition, a user can register to have AutoConnect proactively notify him about specific predetermined topics, such as automatic notification of vehicles they are interested in and vehicle recall information.

AutoConnect offers comprehensive information on pre-owned and new cars alike. "Our approach to new cars is the same as to pre-owned -- we offer consumers the chance to easily reach a broad range of local dealers -- in direct contrast to our competitors who serve as lead brokers for auto dealers and which typically offer only a very limited selection of local dealers," said Perry. "Although we're primarily focused on pre-owned cars, we know many consumers want to consider both types of vehicles."

The Market

AutoConnect believes consumers are looking for a Web-based service specializing in pre-owned automobiles. More than 40 million pre-owned cars (versus 15 million new cars) were sold in the US last year, with sales totaling nearly $370 billion. Of the one in four Americans who now uses the Internet, an estimated 17 percent will purchase a car within next six months. Over 75% of cars purchased will be pre-owned.

According to a recent J D Power and Associates study, nearly half (45 percent) of computer-using car buyers will use the Internet to gather information about their purchase.

After conducting extensive research regarding consumers' wants and desires, we discovered exactly what it was consumers were looking for -- all the relevant information needed to make a well-informed purchasing decision. Keeping that in mind, AutoConnect has developed a site that provides consumers with the widest selection of pre-owned cars as well as extensive comparative information including reviews, articles, leasing information, insurance quotes and more.

"With our no-cost, comprehensive service, we feel we are in the right spot to capitalize on the booming pre-owned car market," said Perry. "As our name suggests, we connect buyers and sellers more quickly, conveniently and efficiently than any other medium, including traditional classified advertising."

Further strengthening AutoConnect's presence on the Web, the company also announced today a partnership with Cox Interactive Media (CIM), a subsidiary of media giant Cox Enterprises and the nation's largest provider of local content on the Internet. With this agreement, CIM will prominently feature AutoConnect on its 17 popular city sites, as well as five other specialty sites, substantially increasing AutoConnect's visibility to Internet users. The CIM deal follows similar agreements with Yahoo!, Lycos and WebCrawler.

About AutoConnect

AutoConnect is owned by Manheim Auctions, Inc., a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, and the Dealer Services Group of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) offering Internet shopping information and services for pre-owned and new cars and trucks. Manheim and ADP provide a variety of products and services to a combined total of more than 90 percent of the U.S. automotive dealers, making AutoConnect the Internet's largest and most significant consolidation of automobile dealer relationships and used car listings.