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Auto Trader acquisitions to give one-stop marketing shop

Dealers will soon be offered a one-stop solution for their marketing and sales management from the company behind Auto Trader.

Trader Media Group last week completed the acquisition of two small yet established dealer support businesses, 2nd Byte and Contact Advantage, for an undisclosed sum. TMG chief executive Jerry Fowden says it plans to seek further acquisitions which complement the IT services it already offers.

“We have a strong publishing business and a strong online business, and we believe that providing a more comprehensive service to dealers will help unlock their success and build their relationship with us,” he says.

Glasgow-based Contact Advantage develops customer relationship and sales lead management solutions for the motor trade. Clients include Listers, Porsche Retail Group and Daimler Chrysler.

2nd Byte, based in Godalming, Surrey, provides a range of remarketing services, such as stock locator facilities. Users include Honda, Vauxhall Network Q, Renault and Jaguar and their dealer networks.

Fowden says both businesses will compliment TMG’s existing services to dealers and vehicle manufacturers, which include its Trader Link marketing service, photo imagery, website development and Trader Data Systems provenance check. Within the next 12 to 24 months dealers will be able to buy all TMG’s services in one bundle, or pick and choose to suit their requirements.

Already predicting growth in both the CRM and remarketing sectors, Fowden says TMG will be keen to introduce its existing customers to 2nd Byte and Contact Advantage. “There is such interest in improvements in efficiency and effectiveness from dealers who we have significant contact with at the moment just as a media channel,” he adds.

“We are committed to developing best of breed integrated front-end products and services for dealers that save them valuable time and money.”

Fowden says he is not interested in back-end systems, such as dealer management systems or fleet management solutions.

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