AOL, Yahoo pick new lead partners
More dealers will get a shot at vehicle leads generated by Yahoo Autos and AOL Autos now that the giant search engine and media companies have moved away from TrueCar Inc. to alternative shopping services.
Yahoo Autos last week named Detroit Trading Co. as the technology partner to power its car-buying service, while AOL Autos opted for CarWoo.
Fast-growing CarWoo replaces TrueCar to provide shoppers at AOL Autos with the ability to seek dealer price quotes on vehicles.
AOL Autos gets about 9 million unique visitors to its site a month. CarWoo has 10,000 participating dealers who can compete for those shoppers vs. about 3,500 at TrueCar. AOL Autos parted ways with TrueCar this month, said Chris Eschenburg, AOL Autos' general manager.
The approach CarWoo takes to price quoting is unusual. It allows a shopper to seek quotes anonymously from several dealers at once, then communicate with them to narrow the choice, said CarWoo CEO Tommy McClung, who co-founded the California company in 2007. Most shopping networks require shoppers to provide contact information to get price quotes from dealers.
Eschenburg said CarWoo promotes a relaxed interaction with dealers who get a solid prospect once the shopper has decided on a dealer.
At Yahoo Autos, Detroit Trading Co. of suburban Detroit will buy the leads that shoppers provide when they leave contact information on the site. Detroit Trading then will instantly resell the leads through a bidding process to the carmakers and third-party lead aggregators, such as Dealix and Autobytel, Detroit Trading CEO Don Campbell said.
Between the franchised dealers of the 25 carmakers that do business today with Detroit Trading and participating dealers of the largest lead aggregators, more dealers will get a shot to quote vehicle prices to shoppers at Yahoo Autos than under the just-dissolved exclusive plan with TrueCar. Yahoo Autos averages about 12 million unique visitors a month.
TrueCar was Yahoo Autos' exclusive price-quoting service for six months until the companies agreed this month to end a three-year contract that paid Yahoo Autos $50 million a year for the leads that TrueCar was capturing.
TrueCar continues to have a presence on Yahoo Autos, but Detroit Trading will run the main price-quote service on the site, a Yahoo source confirmed.
TrueCar is now one of various shopping sites competing for leads. And it will get a tab on the Yahoo global navigation bar as well as provide new-car pricing information in the research section of Yahoo Autos, TrueCar said in an e-mail.
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