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Cars.com Adds to Certified Used Inventory Roster

July 01, 2008

CHICAGO – Cars.com has announced an expansion of its certified used-vehicle advertising program through partnerships with Infiniti, Saturn and Subaru. In-market car buyers searching Cars.com can now access basic listings for the automakers' complete inventory of certified vehicles available nationwide at local dealerships. Eighteen manufacturers now actively promote their certified programs on Cars.com with complete listings on the site.

"The launch of our new certified partnerships with Infiniti, Saturn and Subaru is great for shoppers on Cars.com who are increasingly searching for certified inventory and for the automakers who are helping to drive sales of certified vehicles for their local dealers,” said Dennis Galbraith, Cars.com vice president of advertising products.

Moves by these manufacturers to advertise their certified inventory on Cars.com coincide with strong industrywide sales of certified used vehicles, growing consumer interest in manufacturer-certified cars and increased demand for information online about certified programs. Cars.com cited record high certified sales in May, up more than 5 percent from the same month a year ago.

Heightened interest in certified cars is also being seen online. Through May, email and phone leads to Cars.com dealers on certified vehicles have increased 63 percent year-over-year. For the same period, the available inventory of these vehicles on the site grew by an average of 15 percent.

Awareness of certified vehicles and their benefits among Cars.com shoppers is also on the rise. A recent Cars.com survey found that more than 60 percent of the site’s visitors indicate they understand the benefits of buying certified. That number represents a 53 percent increase from 2006.

“Car buyers increasingly cross-shop between new, used and certified used vehicles to find the one that best meets their needs, so it is important to provide prospects with the full range of options for them to consider,” Galbraith said. “When automakers connect with in-market shoppers about their certified programs, the message resonates, and the cars sell.”

By participating in Cars.com’s certified advertising program, automakers receive extra prominence for their certified inventory on the site.

“The Internet is among the most effective mediums for advertising certified vehicles and promoting the value of certification,” Galbraith said. “Certified programs have many features and are too complex to be adequately communicated in a 30-second TV or radio spot. The Internet is far better suited for complex messages.”

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