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Sunday Times sets up stock locator site

##ST--right##The Sunday Times has launched a business-to-consumer used car stock locator website in conjunction with internet service provider Motortrak.

The high-brow broadsheet, which has an affluent ABC 1 reader profile, is trialling the website – www.Sunday-times.co.uk/motoring – with 650 franchised dealers over a free three-month period.

Motortrak, which manages the site, also operates websites for Lexus GB, Mercedes-Benz UK and Porsche GB. All its dealer clients are taking advantage of the three-month trial.

John Trickett, Times Newspapers' director of advertising, expects the site to primarily attract dealers who retail premium used car marques.

“I suspect that dealers who sell volume makes like Ford will not get the same returns on the website, which will be marketed through The Times and The Sunday Times, as retailers of the more expensive makes,” he said.

“But we may launch a News of the World site to attract buyers for that type of car.”

Mr Trickett is confident of having consistent stock levels of around 15-20,000 cars – the site presently has 30,000 cars online.

“The website will enhance dealers' ability to shift product,” he said. Also, if consumers want to sell a used car through a dealer and buy a new one, they can use the site to look for a dealership.”

The Sunday Times' launch represents a further advance into the motor industry for Rupert Murdoch's News International media empire. It also owns the BSkyB Automotive Channel and the FiredUp auction website.

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