FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Auto Dealer Web Sites Launch Configurator and Comparator Supplied by Edmunds.com
Santa Monica, CA - May 12, 2003 - Edmunds.com (http://www.edmunds.com), the premier online resource for automotive information, today announced the launch of its configurator and comparator Web tools on the Web site of AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE AN), America's largest retailer of both new and used vehicles, and its affiliated dealerships.
Often, a car-shopper will research a vehicle and its options, then mentally "build" the desired new car only to later find out that certain combinations of equipment are not offered. And, many options are actually only offered within confusing packages ambiguously named "Sport," "Premium" or "Luxury" and combined with an inseparable mix of equipment. Consumers often learn this only when ready to make a purchase, and the resulting frustration reduces consumer trust, lowers customer satisfaction and can delay or dissolve a sale.
The Edmunds.com configurator tool now allows consumers to "build" their vehicles using the same information that is used by their local dealers to actually order a car. Option package descriptions and Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices are clearly provided, and consumers are invited to request a dealer quote if they want to move further into the sales process. To use the configurator tool, visit www.autonation.com, click "Find a Vehicle" then "Build Your Dream Car."
"The configurator provides a valuable service to AutoNation site visitors while allowing the company to build relationships with in-market consumers," said Christian D. Nimsky, Director of Data Applications for Edmunds.com. "This tool was initially deployed on AutoNation's corporate Web portal and is currently being customized to integrate with dealer Web sites."
When deciding between vehicles, it is easiest for car-shoppers to compare vehicles when reviewing them side-by-side. Online researchers will now have this opportunity using the Edmunds.com comparator on AutoNation's Web site. Up to four models can be compared; photos, prices, J. D. Power ratings, features, color choices and specifications are shown for each. To use the comparator tool, visit www.autonation.com, click "Research" then "Compare New Cars."
"Many of our site visitors recognize and trust the Edmunds.com brand name, so AutoNation benefits doubly from presenting third-party data in such useful tools," said Gary Marcotte, Vice President of New Vehicle and eCommerce Operations for AutoNation. "And, it took an impressively short period of time for this project to move from inception to implementation."
About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Edmunds.com is the premier online resource for automotive information. Its comprehensive set of data, tools and services, including Edmunds.com True Market Value® pricing, is generated by Edmunds Data Services and is licensed to third parties. For example, the company supplies over 800,000 pages of content for NYTimes.com's auto section. Edmunds.com was named "best car research" site by Forbes ASAP, is viewed by consumers as the "most useful Web site" according to the J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com StudiesSM for both 2001 and 2002, and was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California and maintains a satellite office in Troy, Michigan.