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US giant Cox Automotive launches Autotrader in Australia

Car trading market Autotrader, owned by US giant Cox Automotive, has officially launched in Australia.

The company plans to launch a campaign across TV, print, digital and out of home to promote the new service having appointed Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney to handle its creative and branding duties in August.

Cornelius joined Cox Automotive in October as the company ramped up its Australian operations

The US vehicle trading giant also owns Carsguide.com.au, having purchased the 50% stake held by News in 2016.

Cox Automotive’s local CEO, Shaun Cornelius, told Mumbrella the service plans to offer a range of enhanced features to differentiate it in a crowded market dominated by local services including Carsales and The Drive Network: “We think there’s a big opportunity here for Autotrader.

“Prior to launch, there was a lot of research we undertook in terms of understanding buyers and also working with dealers so this has been two years in the making.

“What we found, and why we launched Autotrader, is we see there’s a gap in the market.

“The trading experience for auto in this market is changing and there’s an opportunity to provide more information and add more transparency to connect potential buyers with sellers.”

Cornelius, who previously founded Choosi and was CEO of OurDeal.com.au, joined the service in October from Hey You. He told Mumbrella the company’s research had found car buyers’ intentions and how they actually go about buying vehicles are quite different.

“Surprisingly 74% of buyers start out the process not knowing what make or model of car they are looking to purchase so we can help them out with that and CarsGuide can help them out with that.

“The research we did also told us that the research phase for buyers takes between 30 and 60 days with a lot of that online.

“People told us that earlier on in the purchase process they plan to travel up to 50km to visit dealers, they were going to visit at least three dealers and then we followed up and interviewed buyers when they were at the dealership and what they told us there was in fact they’d travelled up to 6km in average and the majority had only visited one dealer.

“It tells us that people are doing a lot of research online and they’re visiting a lot of sites so we have to be clear what information they need in that phase. Two areas jumped out – one is pricing, the cost of ownerships both in terms of what your buying and what you’re selling for.”

Other features Autotrader will be promoting on its platform will be dealer reviewers, access to car pricing information through its Kelley Blue Book guide and automatic listings on CarsGuide.

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