Automobile Portal Launches Industry-Wide Directory

USAutoNews.com, an Internet portal for the automotive industry, launched an automotive directory and communications center yesterday that is intended to provide consumers with a single port of entry to automotive Web sites.

The new USAutoNews Search Center organizes auto industry Web site pages into searchable categories that address price, rentals, clubs, finance, parts, racing, warranties, buying and selling, and others. Each segment of the directory is divided into subsections that enable users to narrow their searches and navigate quickly through the system.

The site also includes an e-mail feature to allow users to chat and exchange information about vehicles or automotive-related businesses.

“Prior to the launch of USAutoNews.com’s Search Center, professionals had to rely on generic and often confusing search engines developed to list every imaginable subject from lipstick to truffles,” said Robert J. Zwerling, CEO of USAutoNews.com. “USAutoNews.com is a true business-to-business hub built to help manufacturers, dealers and professionals research and transact virtually anything related to the auto industry.”

Bringing Buyers And Sellers Together

The new Search Center is attempting to combat the fact that many consumers who search for an automobile or automotive information online often visit multiple sites before finding what they need. In fact, a recent J.D. Power and Associates study indicates that the average Internet shopper visits six automotive Web sites and spends more than four hours researching auto data online.

A two-year study by CNW Marketing Research shows that car buyers visit over 16 different manufacturer, dealer, buying service and auto financing sites when looking for a new vehicle.

“USAutoNews.com is the communication and commerce link for all members of the auto industry, an industry that has been highly fragmented,” Zwerling added. “Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive and easy-to-use single source for automotive commerce, research, communications and news.”

The company claims that its portal will provide entry to nearly 10,000 automotive Web sites. In addition to buying and selling, the site will enable users to research a vehicle’s history at multiple sites. Several links will provide the user with information on the worth of a vehicle and information on buying an extended new or used vehicle warranty.

Growing E-Commerce Impact

Other sites devoted to automotive buying and selling have become increasingly popular recently, including Autobytel.com and Autoweb.com. However, most previously introduced sites have been consumer-specific, while USAutoNews.com includes resources that are geared to industry professionals as well.

For example, the site is expected to introduce a feature called “My News,” which will offer continually updated automotive news. Each user can personalize the e-mail feature to receive news that only relates to topics of specified interest.

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