By on April 21, 2014


In its pursuit of establishing an online store where shoppers can do (almost) everything related to the car-buying experience, AutoNation Inc. announced last week it would no longer use third-party lead providers, focusing instead on its own online plans.

Automotive News reports the move is related partly to rising costs, whose savings will be invested toward AutoNation’s online storefront as laid out in the announcement by CEO Mike Jackson:

We’re really looking at the whole spectrum of how we interact with our customers. We’re also going to be looking to broaden the brand attributes of AutoNation and move into different business fields with branded products from AutoNation, whether that’s service contracts, warranty contracts. We’re full of ideas.

The project, launched in 2012, aims to make shopping for a new car at any of its 229 branded dealerships as seamless as possible, from making the purchase at home, to finalizing financing et al the next day. $100 million will be invested into the project over the next several years, with the bare-bones version of AutoNation’s storefront opening for business in December 2014.

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10 Comments on “AutoNation Parts Ways With Third-Party Lead Providers, Pursues Own Online Project...”

  • avatar

    I can’t say that I’m surprised. Third party lead providers are increasing their rates without really adding any additional value, unless you count opportunities to bid against other dealers for ad space on your own dealer page or the ability to purchase “exclusive conquest” advertising opportunities.

  • avatar

    So I’m looking for a specific model. I can go the manufactureres website and search dealers from there. and work well. So now I have to go to, then every other dealer network. Sounds like a pain and an opurtunity for Google cars to make a comeback.

    • 0 avatar

      I have to think that the manufacturer’s site will still have them, that it’s and that will be cut out.

    • 0 avatar

      No. AutoTrader and Cars aren’t considered lead providers by AutoNation. They’re mainly referring to things like TrueCar and CarGuru.

      • 0 avatar

        Ok then I change my mind about Auto Nation, as I never thought much of TrueCar and I haven’t heard of CarGuru. AutoNation have my Audi listed with something called the Smartchoice Price. Still it’s about $1000 more than comprobable cars in the area.

  • avatar

    The company I work for, which is in an entirely different industry, has also greatly reduced the number of leads we get from third party vendors. The quality of those leads has been poor.

  • avatar

    “The leads are weak?” The ***** leads are weak? You’re weak. I’ve been in this business fifteen years…

    • 0 avatar

      What’s your name?

      F%&k you. That’s my name. You know why, mister? You drove a Hyundai to get here. I drove an eighty-thousand dollar BMW. THAT’S my name. And your name is you’re wanting. You can’t play in the man’s game, you can’t close them – go home and tell your wife your troubles. Because only one thing counts in this life: Get them to sign on the line which is dotted.

  • avatar

    Second Prize…..Steak Knives!
    Third Prize…..Hit the bricks!…

  • avatar

    They’re not talking about advertising or autotrader guys…sheesh..

    3rd party lead providers include this website, “search for a vehicle”. Idiots put their info in there along with the car they’re interested in and then its sold. The guy above saying they were weak leads is right. Dealers will buy say 500 for $1500 and close maybe 30 of them.

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