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Car Shopping Site Turns 20

Autotrader, the first national online automobile-shopping site, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
“Autotrader invented online car shopping and constantly strives to re-imagine the category,” said Brian Geitner, president of Cox Automotive Media Solutions. “The transformation of our brand and the car shopping experience go hand-in-hand, and we’ll continue to adapt and enhance Autotrader as consumer behaviors and appetites change.”
Autotrader’s beginning coincides with the rise of the Internet era and its impact on how consumers received information. Paper-based vehicle listings were steadily eclipsed by a more convenient and up-to-date online inventory experience for both the buyer and the seller. Video and editorial content, along with user-generated reviews and the introduction of Autotrader’s mobile app soon followed, helping better educate consumers looking to find and buy their next car.
“We’ve always tried to stay ahead of the curve,” said Chuck Nasiadka, director of pre-owned operations, Baglier Automotive, Butler, Penn. “We went online with Autotrader using a laptop and dial up service somewhere between 2000 and 2001. I’ve placed my faith in the fact they were there first, they have the most knowledge in the space and shoppers still mention Autotrader the most.”

Cars.com Adds Badges to Measure Pricing

Cars.com expanded its suite of pricing tools with the launch of "Badging."
New badge icons on the inventory pages help provide more context behind why a vehicle is priced the way it is. Badging leverages machine learning to assess the closest comparable vehicle and considers vehicle features either in high-demand for the region or those that impact the price beyond year, make, model and trim.
The four badges include "Great Deal," which means the vehicle is priced significantly below market average; "Good Deal," which identifies cars priced at or slightly below market average; "Fair Price," for vehicles priced slightly above market average; and "Well-Equipped," highlighting vehicles that include additional features that are affecting the price.

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Kelley Upgrades VIN Tool

Kelley Blue Book's Self-Service Batch VIN Value-Appending Service now offers new capabilities and enhancements to customers using the self-service interface.
Batch VIN provides access to new -and used-car Kelley Blue Book Values and configuration data by vehicle identification number (VIN) within Kelley Blue Book's suite of business-to-business solutions.
Financial institutions and direct mail marketers can leverage Kelley Blue Book's long-standing position as the trusted source for both consumers and the automotive industry. Additionally, Batch VIN users can now navigate the self-service portal to process files on demand or schedule automated jobs using Kelley Blue Book's application program interface web service.

CU Direct Partners with IMS

CU Direct has announced Inventory Command Center (ICC) as its exclusive vehicle inventory management partner.  
As a result, ICC is integrated into the CU Direct platform, helping to facilitate near-real-time display of more than 2.5 million new and used vehicle listings on CU Direct’s AutoSMART automobile shopping/buying site.  There are 900 credit unions and 12,700 auto dealerships nationwide participating on the AutoSMART platform.
ICC’s Command Center is a service offering that enables its enterprise partners to more easily manage vehicle inventory from their dealer partners.  The Command Center seamlessly brings together different data sets to create inventory records that are normalized and then accessible through an API.